- IMD Business School

The future of the planet – Inspiring what could be

36 pages
December 2019

Our planet has reached a critical moment. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, many species are disappearing and along with them, human livelihoods are at risk. Given the significant repercussions that ecologies and economies face, climate scientists, politicians, NGOs, activists and business leaders are joining forces to discuss the need for an immediate and radical change in the way societies organize themselves.

At IMD, we believe there is much to be hopeful about in an increasingly divided world.

By exploring our own role in the world and harnessing our considerable resources and skills, we can find opportunities to collaborate and provide positive responses to the challenges we face.

Business can play a crucial role in providing and propagating solutions for the future. We can harness innovation, creativity, production, and marketing expertise, in order to meet planetary challenges. We can continue to become more accountable for the social and environmental costs of our actions.

To do this, we must engage in authentic, open dialogue with all stakeholders to establish frameworks for partnership and a positive transition to a clean, lean, equitable and circular economy.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can anchor our efforts and lead to establishing greater purpose within our organizations. They can inspire pioneering solutions, create opportunities and maximize social and economic wellbeing.

We can also learn from countries that are making the necessary changes through policy-driven economic transformation.

As well as being the world’s largest polluter, China is actively driving transition by leveraging regulation, establishing partnerships between government, innovators and entrepreneurs, and developing its education and research system to focus on sustainability. It offers valuable examples of what could be achieved by a determined coalition of partners.

With such purpose-led collaboration, the global economy could shift to a new iteration – one in which equity and efficiency is the cornerstone. We believe that finding a renewed sense of purpose will be central to transforming and stabilizing business in the emerging model.

Embracing transparency, applying robust analytics to measure progress and signaling commitment to transformation through resourcing and messaging can set businesses apart.

Investors are increasingly calling for growth that benefits a broader range of stakeholders than solely shareholders. Boardrooms are repurposing themselves towards the benefit of individuals, societies, communities and nations.

IMD develops business leaders that transform organizations and contribute to society. Our faculty offers real-world learning backed by academic research as we accompany business leaders though industry disruption and innovation, critical self-reflection, and organizational transformations on the path to doing well by doing good.

We invite you to join with us as we challenge what is and inspire what could be.


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