Photo Credit: Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

 

Like many, we are deeply grieving the horrific events surrounding George Floyd’s death and grappling with strong emotions watching the protests calling for an end to the long history of systemic racism and police brutality in our society.

As ‘conscious’ capitalists, we recognise that we are part of a system that is inextricably linked to perpetuating racism – and we must stand resolute to do our part to correct it. We are far from the just and inclusive world we aspire to have. We fully acknowledged that black, indigenous, and immigrant communities are disproportionately affected by the global pandemic, and black lives continue to suffer from needless brutality.

We realise we must stand resolute to be there for and with each other to navigate these complex but significant times together.

 

In this spirit, we offer these words from Raj Sisodia, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc:

“While it is a challenging time to be a leader, it is a time for us to show up with deep humanity, to expand with love and not contract with fear.”

 

What hope does this moment hold?

At CCANZ, as we are sure many of you are doing in your own workplaces and communities, we have been reflecting on this time and the role we can play in making meaningful change for equity and justice. We are still processing all that is unfolding as a result of COVID-19 and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and asking ourselves what it means to show up in this moment in greatest service to humanity.

It has been promising to see a rise in businesses doing good in response to the crisis, as well as the highlighting of black, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), Indigenous, and black-owned businesses in what seems to be a turning tide for capitalism. These articles are a heartening read: “Capitalism Post-COVID: Companies Doing Good To Become Great” and “The impossible for capitalism is suddenly possible.

 

“Radical ideas take decades to move from margin to mainstream. Crises can accelerate shifts. This time, the idea going viral is that Conscious Capitalism might just be the model to move the world forward. Imagine a future where companies, governments and civil society come together to cool us collectively down from the fires of inequality, populism and a warming climate. That future’s here, and it’s now. Or we’re history.”

– Forbes: Capitalism Post-COVID: Companies Doing Good To Become Great

 

Yet, there is much still to be done, as the recent 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Report points out:

“… the Covid-19 Pandemic reveals a remarkable shift in the landscape of trust since January. Despite a four-point increase in trust in business and several high-profile actions taken by companies and CEOs to help those in need, there is marked disappointment in how the private sector has performed during the crisis. This is a moment of reckoning for business, which must now deliver on the promise of stakeholder capitalism.

 

The practices of Conscious Capitalism can play a key role in bringing about a new reality, and a reality that is so desperately needed. Here is a part of our credo and our reflection on its application today.

Read the full credo here.

 

Where to now?

A statement is not enough. And we know we have a part to play. As our Credo says, “[W]e can aspire to even more.”

Racial and social justice are only possible if we work together. And amidst the challenges of the global pandemic and racial injustice, seeing painful reminders of the fragility and failings of our current systems, we wonder… could this be a turning point for capitalism?

We do not have all the answers. And there is a long road ahead. But, we are committed to working together to live up to our shared vision for business as a force for good, as set forth in our Credo.

At a Members Town Hall “2020: A Turning Point for Capitalism?”, Conscious Capitalists across Australia & NZ gathered in solidarity to ask how we can support each other, and to share reflections on the opportunities and responsibility at hand to accelerate the shift to a more Conscious Capitalism. The intention was to connect, reflect and make tangible what it looked like for us as conscious capitalists – whether you are a business owner, an employee, a customer, vendor, supplier or investor.

 

You can watch the recording (members only) and read the synthesis

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