Sir Richard Branson: The B-Team

The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of leaders to create a future where the purpose of business is to be a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit. Working with a global community of advisors and partners, the group seeks to catalyse a Plan B for business, to ensure the well-being of people and planet.

B Team Founders and Co-Chairs are Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz.  The B-Team‘s focus is on execution and action, accelerating and amplifying others’ efforts by undertaking specific challenges where a collective voice can make a difference.

They are joined by supporters who make up the Founders’ Circle, including Virgin Unite (initial incubator of The B Team), The Rockefeller Foundation, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Havas, Kering/PUMAVision, Derek Handley (founding CEO), Strive Masiyiwa and Joann McPike.

All B-Team members have singed the following declaration: [View PDF]

The private sector can and must redefine both its responsibilities and its own terms of success; a Plan B for concerted, positive action that will ensure business becomes a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Business is now waking up to the reality that:

If we carry on using the natural resources of the world unsustainably, they’ll quite simply run out.

With a burgeoning population, more people are still living in poverty than ever before and inequalities are increasing in many parts of the world.

Unemployment rates are at frightening levels.

Non-Profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand, while many governments are unwilling or unable to act.

While there are myriad reasons we’ve arrived at this juncture, much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of ‘business as usual’.

These are not the outcomes we envisioned as we grew our companies; this is not the dream that inspired us.

And the overwhelming conclusion we’ve reached is that businesses have been a major contributor to the problems, and we as business leaders have the responsibility of creating sustainable solutions.

Therefore, if we leverage the many positives of business – the spirit of enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship that has helped realize improvements in quality of life and enabled technological and scientific progress – we can create an unprecedented era of sustainable, inclusive prosperity for all.

The time has come for us to play our part in finding the solutions.

That’s why we are forming The B Team.

Our vision of the future is a world in which the purpose of business is to become a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Our mission is to help develop a ‘Plan B’ that puts people and planet alongside profit.

Plan A – where companies have been driven by the profit motive alone – is no longer acceptable.

As business leaders, we know that what we’re proposing will be a challenge, or even an affront, to many of our colleagues and competitors.

But we’re confident that those who choose to work with us will see that in the long run what’s better for the planet and its people is also better for business.

The ultimate aim, with support, energy and ideas — and yes, constant, frank criticism — is to get millions of business leaders committed to a better way of doing business.

And before we comment on the practices of others, we ‘Pledge’ that we will ‘Start at Home’.

We will focus on ourselves, our own businesses and industries, and do our utmost to ensure we meet the principles of better business.

As members of The B Team, we will work to overcome large-scale challenges where our collective voices can make a difference.

The B-Team is made up of:

  • Shari Arison
  • Sir Richard Branson
  • Kathy Calvin
  • Arianna Huffington
  • Mo Ibrahim
  • Guilherme Leal
  • Strive Masiyiwa
  • Blake Mycoskie
  • Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
  • François-Henri Pinault
  • Paul Polman
  • Ratan Tata
  • Zhang Yue
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus and
  • Jochen Zeitz.
  • Mary Robinson and Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland are honorary members of the team, representing People and Planet.


Nelson Mandela: The True Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship

In David Bornstein’s, “How to Change the World, Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas,” Nelson Mandela provided a forward, “… wonderfully hopeful and enlightening… the stories of these social entrepreneurs will inspire and encourage many people who seek to build a better world.”

On December 5th, 2013, the world lost a giant social entrepreneur in Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. In this lifetime, there have been no other and may never be any other leaders like Nelson Mandela. Having commandeered the social transformation of a country, collapsing under the weight of apartheid, Mr. Mandela gained global acclaim for his unflinching courage and vision.
[Read more...]

Gregory Dees: The Man Who Defined Social Entrepreneurship

via:  Businessweek

In 1998, when Professor Gregory Dees wrote The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship, the phrase was barely known, even by those running “social ventures” at the time. As Roger Martin, former dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, wrote in a memorial, Dees (along with a small group of like-minded thinkers) “defined the contours of an establishing field.” Dees passed away on Dec. 20 at age 63. Below are excerpts from his seminal article written while teaching at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

The idea of “social entrepreneurship” has struck a responsive chord. It is a phrase well suited to our times. It combines the passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation, and determination commonly associated with, for instance, the high-tech pioneers of Silicon Valley. The time is certainly ripe for entrepreneurial approaches to social problems. Many governmental and philanthropic efforts have fallen far short of our expectations. Major social-sector institutions are often viewed as inefficient, ineffective, and unresponsive. Social entrepreneurs are needed to develop new models for a new century.

[Read more...]