Purpose Will Take Center Stage at This Year’s World Business Forum
November 14, 2023
The way businesses address sustainability has evolved immensely over the last twenty years – and continues to do so. Initially, sustainability initiatives were apprehensively embraced and long-term plans lacked strategy and visible, quantifiable impacts. Many initiatives were left to one department or noted as CSR policy – and oftentimes separate from core business strategy. Later, many programs grew under businesses’ ESG initiatives, becoming more comprehensive as enterprises tried to expand their reach and resources.
Today, supporting sustainability is more important than ever. What previously seemed theoretical is becoming real as we continue to see the effects of climate change. For example, with extreme heat waves across the globe, 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record, and according to findings announced at COP28, we are expected to surpass the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) warming threshold in the 2030s.
Since June 2022, the overall number of companies setting net zero emissions targets has increased 40%. Yet, only 4% of these targets meet United Nations criteria for reaching the goal. While many businesses have pledged action, there is still more work to be done.
WOBI Hones in on “PURPOSE”
With sustainability top of mind for business leaders of all industries, FINN is excited to be partnering with World of Business Ideas (WOBI) on this year’s World Business Forum. WOBI is a leading global business content hub, producing and distributing management media content to help companies and their top executives improve the way they manage their organizations. Since 2004, the World Business Forum has welcomed more than 40,000 executives from over 10,000 companies and featured more than 200 of the world’s top business and management thought leaders as keynote speakers.
This year’s edition of the World Business Forum marks the conference’s 20th anniversary, and it will bring together over 2,500 executives to discuss the most important leadership issues facing the global business community. Moreover, leaders will convene around this year’s theme of “PURPOSE” and its role as the force that inspires innovation and creativity in both people and organizations.
Sustainability With Intention
WOBI has always been at the forefront of promoting sustainability, providing a microphone and connecting leaders that can help create new solutions. The organization has featured some of the most innovative thinkers in the space, like John Elkington, who developed the “triple bottom line” framework focused on three essential components: People, Planet and Profit. As a regular World Business Forum speaker through the 2000s, Elkington outlined why firms should incorporate social and environmental impact into their operations, alongside financial considerations.
As sustainability becomes increasingly integral in business operations, WOBI continues to encourage businesses to push the envelope for more impactful sustainability programs, driven by purpose and fueled by greater intention to create change. This will be seen throughout the programming at this year’s conference and WOBI’s newly launched Green Impact initiative, which aims to inspire leaders to build upon their own environmental sustainability programs by spotlighting companies that are making a difference.
This programming will feature Stephen Ritz, educator, author, urban farmer and founder of Green Bronx Machine. Coming from the poorest congressional district in America, the South Bronx, Ritz recognized a lack of food access and healthy eating habits in his students and developed an academic program to address these challenges. Green Bronx Machine introduces students to healthy eating habits and lifestyles, while improving social determinants of health and growing fresh fruit and vegetables all year long. Having partnered with corporations, foundations and donors, Ritz has brought the program to over 600 schools around the world.
Additionally, the conference will feature a panel highlighting issues around sustainability and business, including why sustainability makes good business, how it factors into financials, the role of technology and more. Key panelists include Sean Cady, Vice President of Global Sustainability, Responsibility and Trade at VF Corporation, Melanie Nuce-Hilton, Senior Vice President of Innovation & Partnerships at GS1 US and Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President and Chief Impact Officer at IBM.
Purpose Drives FINN, Too
Purpose is in FINN’s DNA. In fact, FINN was created around the belief that we could be successful while still being true to our values. More importantly, we know the value of shared purpose. We know that meaningful impact cannot happen in silos and it is why we seek like-minded clients, employees and partners. As this year’s World Business Forum approaches, FINN is proud to have a purpose-driven partner like WOBI that is equally as dedicated to making a difference and creating a sustainable future for our people, our clients and our world.