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Creating common purpose

PwC’s purpose means that we want to work with others to help tackle the biggest issues facing the world today in a manner which builds trust in societies. 

The market economy is the most powerful generator of social progress ever created. It has always depended on a system of rules, but now it is clear that there are major and growing challenges, which the current system is not adequately addressing - with climate change, economic exclusion and inequality among the most obvious symptoms. We have a design problem, and the COVID-19 pandemic is making that even clearer. 

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Here are some of our leaders talking about why creating a common purpose matters. | Duration 2:16

 

The case for change and how we can get there

Recoupling shareholders, stakeholders and society

Market economies and business activities should be intentionally designed to deliver outcomes which support the wellbeing of people and our planet. This is not about a choice between profit and purpose - it is about ensuring that profit is delivered as a consequence of purpose, a purpose which is consistent with these broader objectives.

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For the past 70 years or so, economic and social progress have gone mostly hand in hand. But globalisation, financialisation and technology are weakening the link. The result is that economic performance is not guarding us against climate change nor improving quality of life in the way it should.

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It’s time to refocus economic and business activities on sustainable outcomes for society.  Systemic change means transforming current business models and norms, introducing broader measures of success that move beyond financial outcomes such as gross domestic product (GDP) and shareholder value, focusing on life-long learning and reskilling in the workplace, and managing emerging technologies so they meet human needs.

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This change is not going to be achieved in a single leap. Instead, it is more like a ratchet, with a series of specific changes at both the macro and micro levels taking us forwards. The process will play out differently in various places reflecting differences in laws, social norms and economic context. While individual steps are incremental, the total change will be - and has to be - transformational.

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The COVID-19 pandemic facing the world today is challenging businesses and economies, and impacting millions of people. It has highlighted the strong need for cross-border collaboration and alignment between economic activity and societal - human - needs. There is a growing realisation that the world will not be returning to the old normal. Now, society has the opportunity to choose a new normal where economic and social progress are aligned.

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Contact us

Bethan Grillo

Bethan Grillo

Managing Director, Global Purpose, Corporate Responsibility, New World New Skills, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7804 5746