Business’ Role in Solving Social Problems

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Business’ Role in Solving Social Problems

By Charles H. Moore Executive Director, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy
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Summary

Response from CECP Executive Director Charles Moore to two major newspapers have run opinion columns which our organization, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), believes represent outdated perspectives on the role of business in society.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 1:00pm

Recently, two major newspapers have run opinion columns which our organization, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), believes represent outdated perspectives on the role of business in society.

Jamie White, in a July 21 Wall Street Journal editorial titled “When Corporate Theft is Good” stipulates that corporate philanthropy is tantamount to “stealing shareholders money,” and the Washington Post’s Chrystia Freeland, in the July 18 editorial “What’s BP’s Responsibility?” blamed the “cult of social responsibility” for the gulf oil spill and financial crisis. Both take the stance of Milton Friedman in asserting that the purpose of business is narrowly business, to make the maximum profit. Freeland goes a step farther by saying that the interests of business and society are not aligned, calling for government to step in as regulators, keeping the “perfectly proper corporate greed” from harming the larger community.

A recent CECP report, “Shaping the Future: Solving Social Problems through Business Strategy,” based on research by McKinsey & Company, offers a new framework for considering the role of business in society. Taking a futuristic view, “Shaping the Future” lays out five Global Forces that will affect the landscape for business in the next decade: scarcity of resources, talent mismatches, global connectivity, shifting of economic activity away from the West, and a larger role for governments. These forces, which are certainties, will fundamentally change the way that business does business.

 

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Contact

Courtney King
Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy
http://www.corporatephilanthropy.org
Keywords: Corporate Social Engagement | Eli Lilly and Company | Global Forces | McKinsey | Mike Duke | Wal-Mart | corporate giving | corporate philanthropy | social investing

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