Summit 2013

Business & NGOs: Building partnerships of winners

The Zermatt Summit was created in 2010 as a platform to promote a constructive, action-oriented dialogue between civil society and business. It is our conviction that it is through this kind of dialogue and through a better interaction between civil society, business and governments that we will be able to achieve a more inclusive globalization.

We have all experienced in the last 10 or 15 years how the drastic changes created by globalization in the economic, social, political fabrics of our societies are generating new divides and dislocations. These, in turn, are creating new challenges when it comes to a widening wealth distribution gap, tackling the climate change and sustainability issues, ensuring long-term employability in view of ever faster technological changes and increasing volatility in the global economy, ensuring consumer protection against often opaque products supply chains and creating the new legal and regulatory frameworks that new economic and societal realities require.

Civil society groups have been increasingly active and vocal in all these domains, spurred by widespread public concerns about the impact of the workings of global financial markets and of the activities and power of transnational corporations on the lives of individual people. In the same way, businesses have also stepped in, promoting their own approach and their perspective on the same issues, which are of course of crucial relevance to their ability to compete and sustain their activities in a global economic context.

Civil society and business have thus engaged in debate, competing advocacy and – quite often – in controversy – each trying to get the attention and support not only of the public but also of governments and international organizations to their views. While there are today very laudable examples of efficient collaboration between business and NGOs on various issues and in different countries, there is obviously a need for a broader, more strategically oriented, quieter and hopefully even more productive dialogue.

This is the role that the Zermatt Summit aims to fulfill, as a non-partisan independent platform able to bring together the different players and interested parties, various perspectives and approaches in a context conducive to creating action-oriented outcomes.

Focused interaction and a time-efficient meeting

Going beyond the usual business conferences, the Zermatt Summit provides a holistic approach to the topics discussed, putting the emphasis on well structured brainstorming sessions, genuine interaction and avoiding formal speeches, thus ensuring significant “take home value” for the participants.

The agenda of the Zermatt Summit is set around four orientations:

  • The trends and factors shaping the evolution of civil society, its perceptions, expectations and modes of action
  • Some key areas where the dialogue/collaboration between business and civil society can be made more effective and new potential areas for Public Private Partnerships
  • The practice of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • The ethics, rules and modes of engagement between business and civil society

On the agenda of the Zermatt Summit

Among the topics on the agenda of the Zermatt Summit 2013

  • PPPs as the collaborative mode of the 21st Century
  • Developing the civil society ecosystem: The role of social media
  • Government/Business/Civil Society: Getting on together to achieve sustainability
  • Addressing the trust issue: How can the private sector and civil society create the necessary transparency and accountability on both sides
  • Corporate Social Responsibility as an integrated part of corporate strategy even in tough economic times
  • It is more than “just” business: How business leaders can contribute to moving a country up
  • How civil society and the private sector can be partners in addressing the environment challenge
  • How can civil society and the private sector be partners in addressing the employability challenge
  • How can civil society and the private sector be partners in addressing the health challenge
  • The private sector and civil society: The Must for a win-win approach
  • Business Ethics and social responsibility
  • Social entrepreneurship and the business of positive social change: A Debate

Genuine take home value for participants

As an annual event, The Zermatt Summit sets as its objective to help participants:

  • Establish genuine dialogue leading to action between civil society and business
  • Acquire relevant insights on the way NGOs and business look at their respective priorities
  • Develop a dialogue, a sharing of perspectives, between civil society and business on the forthcoming changes that globalization keeps on bringing in the social, economic, cultural, lifestyle and political domains and how to cope with these changes – and even leverage them to overall benefit
  • Engage in networking and building new relationships with a range of business, civil society and thought leaders
  • Become part of a peer group of people interested – and involved – in creating a more inclusive globalization

An Executive Summary highlighting the key outcomes of the discussions is provided to the participants after the event, allowing them to crystallize their take home value.

The discussion leaders and participants you will interact with

  • Business leaders, senior executives from different parts of the world
  • Leaders and personalities from NGOs and civil society groups
  • Public personalities
  • Media leaders and thought leaders