Two years later, in 2010, we started the Zermatt Summit, based on the belief that a place of encounter was needed in order to rethink the economy and business enterprise in the midst of the problems we face: rising unemployment, cost of debt on future generations, increasing poverty in all countries to name but a few. We share the belief that putting the person at the center of our globalized world can prevent the implosion of the neo-capitalism model focused on short-term profit and finances disconnected from the production of goods and services.
But this belief can only become a reality if there are courageous leaders who are willing to swim against the tide to establish a world where the human person is not an object of consumption but the subject of creativity and life.
There are many instances when courage is needed in business: the courage of entrepreneurship, which is a mixture of innovation and creativity, the courage of temperance, despite the pressures of some shareholders focused on short term profitability, the courage of authority to lead a company on the path to common good… These instances show the way to long term value creation in a society too often paralyzed by fears and that often brings technical solutions without the moral fortitude to implement them.
As stated in a book which has a title that speaks for itself, Double Dip, How to run a values-led business and make money too, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of the famous ice cream company, wrote “Business has now become the most important force in society. We cannot solve social problems as long as business does not accept to play a leadership role in this area. This implies that the business acts for the common good. This is a new role for business which it is not used to and for which it is unprepared”.