Global business needs “a purpose beyond profit”, One Young World co-founder David Jones has said.
Speaking at One Young World Summit 2012, which gathered 1,300 future leaders in Pittsburgh over the weekend, he commented that, “it will become increasingly hard to do well, unless you set out to do good.”
The Havas global CEO was rounding off a panel discussion on ethical business, which also featured Barclays group chief executive Antony Jenkins, School for Startups founder Doug Richard, former Observer editor Will Hutton, and Sabine Zindera, Vice President, Corporate & Legal Compliance, at Siemens.
“We’ve seen where irresponsible leadership from government and business has led to, and that’s driving a belief today from many businesses that the pursuit of profit for profit’s sake is a really bad idea”, he told the gathered audience of outstanding youth leaders.
While stressing the importance of business to creating jobs and economic prosperity, the Who Cares Wins author also emphasised that “it…needs to behave in the right way.”
His address to delegates echoed two of the summit’s core themes – Transparency & Integrity, and Leadership & Governance – and Jones highlighted the opportunities for young people to hold businesses to account in what he termed a “new world of radical transparency”.
“If a company behaves in the wrong way, don’t buy or use its products. Similarly if they do behave in the right way, then support them…don’t go and work for the companies that are behaving in the wrong way, unless you believe you can change them, but do go and work for the companies that are behaving in the right way.”
One Young World hosts an annual summit of young leaders from around the world – this year 1,300 delegates gathered in Pittsburgh and heard from global leaders and activists including Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Natalia Vodianova and Bob Geldof.