Past Edition
Edition Three, 2003
Profit and loss?
Corporations and development

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Edition Summary:
To coincide with the 26 July anniversary of the launch of the United Nations Global Compact, this edition of Global Future examines the roles that corporations play in development. From funding growth through foreign-direct investment to supplying essential goods or services, from philanthropy to influencing public policy, those roles are many - and their impacts on poverty profound. Businesses do not work in a vacuum: their operations affect people and societies, not just revenues and share prices. Thus, corporate responsibility concerns us all. With privatisation and globalisation, borders between government and private sector are blurring. How can we ensure that this reduces - rather than worsens - poverty? Are businesses responsible for the socio-economic development of countries in which they operate? Can voluntary initiatives promote good corporate practice, or is a regulatory framework needed?

Our contributors share diverse opinions. Some highlight promising partnerships between business, NGOs, governments and others; efforts to influence corporations; and measures to attract investment to least developed countries. We read of companies being reinvigorated - financially or more intangibly - through committing to development goals. We read of poor communities' needs converging with business' own imperatives. But what about when they don't? Other writers express deep concern about negative impacts of corporate activity on economies and people - suggesting that serious homework on corporate responsibility is needed in some quarters. Various contributors insist that civil society monitoring is needed. Some offer guiding principles for business.

May this collection inspire further vision - and action - so that corporate talent, wealth and influence might be used to truly bring justice for that vast portion of humanity whom poverty has marginalised.

Heather Elliott

  • The Global Compact and the challenges of development - Georg Kell
  • Doing well while doing good - Bj�rn Stigson
  • Global citizens or global tourists? - Kel Currah
  • Global corporations and the Third World poor - Vandana Shiva
  • Development for whom? - Mark Moody-Stuart
  • Fighting poverty, building reputation - Bill Walker
  • Promoting development through CSR - does it work? - Peter Utting
  • How industry keeps AIDS drugs unaffordable - Amboka Wameyo
  • Corporations in development or corporate development? - Barry Coates
  • Corporate citizenship comes of age - Klaus Schwab & Pamela Hartigan
  • Corporate responsibility and sustainable development - Patricia Wolf
  • Ecuador's cut-flower industry and local development - Fernando Jara
  • Commerce - incentive for peace or fuel for war? - Kathy Vandergrift
  • The dignity and wealth of nations - David Batstone
  • What's love got to do with it? - Jon Chamberlain
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