Ed Boyd: How Business Can Help Save the World
The ambitious scope of our first Winter Talk, How Business Can Help Save the World, set the tone for the 2021-22 series, and we were delighted to welcome Ed Boyd, co-founder and executive director of ReGenerate, to address our virtual audience on 11th November 2021.
Ed, a microeconomist who was formerly managing director of the Centre for Social Justice and a special advisor to David Cameron’s government, believes business, with its unique ability to innovate and scale solutions, is better placed than the traditional third sector to address pressing social issues: ‘The sheer weight of financial assets within the UK financial system, if even changed slightly towards achieving better social and environmental impact,’ he argued, ‘has the power to do more good than doubling, tripling, quadrupling, the amount of money that is going into charities.’
‘Profitably solving’ social issues, Ed pointed out, is a clear ‘win-win’: ‘There is an opportunity to help businesses be a greater force for good in a way that isn’t just about philanthropy… but which, if done well, leads to more successful and resilient businesses as result.’
As ever, our guests posed thoughtful questions and discussion, hosted by Alexander Hoare and Rennie Hoare, ranged from issues such as stakeholder primacy and impact investment to the possible dismantling of capitalism. ‘The answer is to make the current capitalist system work for everyone,’ said Ed. ‘As soon as you take a longer horizon, looking after your customers, employees and communities turns out to be a pretty good strategy.’
Views and opinions contained in this summary are the speaker’s own and are not necessarily those of the bank or any of its partners, directors, or employees.