275 pages, 26 b/w illustrations, tables
There is an emerging consensus that all is not well with today's market-centric economic model. Although it has pulled millions out of poverty over the last half-century, it creates recession, unemployment, ecological scarcity, and environmental risk, and widens the gap between the rich and the poor. The result is the broken system of social inequity, environmental degradation, and political manipulation that marks today's corporations. Corporation 2020 presents new approaches to measuring the true costs of business and its obligation to society. Pavan Sukhdev lays out a sweeping new vision for tomorrow's corporation: one that will increase social equity, decrease environmental risks, and still generate profit. Through a combination of internal changes in corporate governance and external regulations and policies, Corporation 2020 can become a reality – and it must, argues Sukhdev, if we are to avert catastrophic social imbalance and ecological harm. From his insightful look into the history of the corporation to his thoughtful discussion of the steps needed to craft a better corporate model, Sukhdev offers a hopeful vision for the role of business in shaping a more equitable, sustainable future.
"Much has recently been written about how a new wave of 'green' corporations is just around the corner, an endogenously transformed phalanx of knights in shining armour just waiting to rescue us. Pavan Sukhdev says 'not so', but he also shows with consummate skill and clarity what exogenous changes can be made, to re-engineer the 'social contract' between society and corporations in the twenty-first century."
- Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
"The ideas and assertions in this book blow well past 'insightful' and edge toward 'revolutionary' insofar as they expose major fallacies in our most basic assumptions about what we call our 'economy'. It's an equally important exposure for corporate leaders and leaders of the movement for environmental sustainability, because both need to move beyond the 'infancy phase' in terms of truly understanding and acknowledging the value of natural resources. A seriously inspiring and, ultimately, very hopeful piece of work."
- Edward Norton, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity
"Pavan Sukhdev writes with extraordinary clarity, compassion and conscience, laying the ground for a whole system economics. Recognizing that all human activity is part of nature, and that nature is essential for human wellbeing, Sukhdev creates an economic framework for the restoration of human and natural systems. Corporation 2020 brilliantly lays out a pathway for corporations, countries and citizens towards the earth's health."
- Jonathan F. P. Rose, President, Jonathan Rose Companies
"When Pavan Sukhdev comes along and writes an extraordinary book, and backs it up with an extraordinary campaign and a really good website to promote [...] a change in the basic culture, definition, and orientation of corporations in our society, it's very timely, and it's very important to take what he has to say seriously."
- James Gustave Speth, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School and Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos
"In his nuanced analysis, corporations need to align their aims with society, becoming viable communities, institutes and financial, human and natural capital 'factories'."
"Pavan Sukhdev discusses in every detail the problems we have created for ourselves today and our apathy towards participating in discussions which are no longer 'maybes' and 'ifs' but are in fact certainties. Yet in the end, he provides us with a positive manifesto for transformation. Corporation 2020, written with clarity and concern, offers a realistic framework within which we can redesign and rebuild our global community."
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Pavan Sukhdev is the Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory, an environmental consulting firm that helps governments and corporations value and manage their impacts on natural and human capital. A former banker at Deutsche Bank, he has been Special Adviser and Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, lead author of their Green Economy Report, and Study Leader for the G8+5 commissioned project on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity ("TEEB"). He is the recipient of a McCluskey Fellowship at Yale University.