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Closing the inequality gap: What is the role of business in building an inclusive society?

Covid-19 has laid bare the widening inequalities around the world and has further increased the gap between rich and poor, men and women, pushing millions into hardship. What needs to change now to close this gap and drastically improve conditions and opportunities for those being left behind? Given its role in the economy and society, what can business do differently to help address the impacts and causes of economic inequality?

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Closing the inequality gapThree-minute read of the discussion

This covers:

  • The concept of inequality and lessons from history
  • Implications of Covid-19 in tackling inequality
  • Collaboration between business and community; and business and government to find solutions
  • Empowering and giving voice to the vulnerable
  • The limitations of the capitalist model

 

"The inequality challenge can sometimes feel like trying to rebuild a car while travelling at 50 miles an hour. But that if that is the case, it has never been a more urgent time to try."

John Morrison, Chief Executive, International Institute for Human Rights and Business

 

 

Speakers


Enos BandaEnos Banda, Managing Director, CTC Global.

Enos is a South African-born entrepreneur and investment banker. He is Managing Director of CTC Global, a California-based company responsible for a leading green electricity transmission technology that reduces carbon emissions and increases electricity grid efficiency. Enos has over twenty five years of professional experience in law, investment banking and business operations. As a lawyer, he advised in the seminal transactions of the then recently democratic South Africa related to privatization and complex infrastructure project financings. As a banker, served as country head for Credit Suisse First Boston and later, head of Africa for HSBC Corporate and Investment Bank.

Louise Cord

Louise Cord, Global Director for Social Sustainability, World Bank. 

Louise Cord is the Global Director for Social Sustainability and Inclusion in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group. Prior to this, Ms. Cord was the Country Director for Senegal, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mauritania, based in Dakar, Senegal. Prior to her appointment as Country Director, she was Practice Manager in the Poverty Global Practice responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Steve FootsSteve Foots, CEO, Croda International. 

Steve was appointed to the Board of Croda International in July 2010 and became Group Chief Executive since the beginning of 2012. Steve joined Croda as a graduate trainee in 1990 and has held a number of senior management positions in the Group, becoming President of Croda Europe in July 2010. Prior to this, Steve held a number of Managing Director roles across Croda’s European business. Steve is also Industry co-Chair of the Chemistry Council.

John MorrisonJohn Morrison, CEO, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). 

John has been CEO of IHRB since its formation in 2009 under the leadership of Mary Robinson (the former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights). John leads IHRB’s global strategy, fundraising, and outreach. He has advised a number of governments, intergovernmental organisations and businesses on human rights and wider issues of sustainability, development, and international affairs. John has published widely on issues relating to corporate responsibility, human rights, refugee protection, and human trafficking.

Susan J SmithProfessor Susan J Smith, Honorary Professor of Social and Economic Geography and The Mistress of Girton College.

Professor Smith has a distinguished career both as a human geographer and in the interdisciplinary world of housing studies. In addition to a programme of research spanning more than 30 years, Professor Smith is experienced in research management, research strategy, and research assessment of all kinds. She has contributed to the work of the ESRC (Research Grants Board, Professorial Fellowships), HEFCE (as a panel member in the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises), the Leverhulme Trust (Philip Leverhulme Prize panel), and to research development and monitoring in HEIs within and beyond the UK.

Chaired by:

Aris Vrettos

Aris Vrettos Director, Centre for Business Transformation

Aris Vrettos leads CISL’s Centre for Business Transformation, which develops and integrates new thinking, tools and strategies that enable business to play a transformative role toward a sustainable economy. The Centre contributes to CISL’s research and thought leadership in sustainable business, purpose, culture, governance and innovation and also houses our Advisory Services, Business and Nature work and the CISL Accelerator and SME Hub.


Find out more about how CISL's Centre for Business Transformation is helping companies play a transformative role towards a sustainable economy. Contact us if you would like to join our Rewiring the Economy Inquiry into rewiring business.

Click here to join upcoming discussions in The Future we Want Discussion Series.