5 Areas Companies Should Behave as Global Citizens

This week, Barri Rafferty, senior partner and director, New York, is blogging from the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Last night, I attended the opening mission session with founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab. His speech focused on how companies should behave as global citizens and he laid out five areas of focus:

  • Corporate Governance – following business practices that advance integrity and make ethical use of resources
  • Social Responsibility – recognizing and acting in best interests of diverse stakeholders
  • Corporate Philanthropy – committing to consistently giving to social organizations
  • Social Entrepreneurship – exercising business innovation that addresses social need (He used the electric car as a good example.)
  • Corporate Global Citizenship – positively shaping global society in multiple aspects

He went on to say, “The complexity of the issues we are facing is key to the Forum’s success.” In other words, by focusing on the big picture instead of a single issue, the WEF creates an opportunity to look at the issues on the global agenda in an integrated way.

He said the WEF’s list now contains more than 50 issues, because “Davos is a mirror of what is happening in the world.” That’s clearly a lot to tackle this week, and, with 1,000 corporate attendees – including Ketchum – out of the 2,600 guests, it means there are many things for all of us to integrate.

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Barri Rafferty is Ketchum’s former CEO and current head of communications at Wells Fargo.