17 January 2014

UN Global Compact Leaders Summit & Muhammad Yunus

Some months ago I had the privilege to attend the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013 in New York. This major even, happening only every three years brought together 1,200 participants making it the largest UN business meeting.

Chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, chief executives met with leaders from civil society, Government and the United Nations to unveil the Business Engagement Architecture to align and scale up business action in support of sustainable development priorities.
"The Global Compact has helped generate a major shift in corporate mindset in just one decade. Enlightened leaders are making sustainability a core part of business strategy. Today, I ask you to be architects of a better world. What was once a call to the founding members of the United Nations is now a rallying cry to business and civil society leaders everywhere. Help us to respond to the urgency of our global challenges and build a better tomorrow".
- H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General
It has has been the third Summit I have been able to attend and these major events have gone from strength to strength. Recently, the summary report has been published and is worth a read as it outlines the global Corporate Sustainability agenda for years to come. Read the summary report.

A personal highlight was the encounter with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus. He has been a true inspiration for many years, firstly for pioneering microfinance, followed by his work on the social business concept. His perspective that humans not only interact as economic agents maximizing their own utility but also as social beings seeking happiness is playing an increasingly important role.