We need progress, not perfection.
Notes from the Council | Newsletter September 2021
Capitalism needs to change so that the benefits are more widely shared, and the Council is focused on the progress our members make through their everyday actions. By putting forth their best ideas for doing business in ways that benefit people and planet, our members push themselves and inspire others to do better. That’s why Council was founded – to act on the moral imperative to advance the change we need at scale.
We know more needs to be done, and the Council is rising to the challenge with the actions you take. Making the economy more inclusive and sustainable will require companies of all sizes, industries, and geographies to work in parallel toward this goal. Whether an organization is just starting on its journey or is a global pace-setter in inclusive capitalism innovations, the actions each of us take make a difference. That’s why the Council is building a platform of ideas and solutions for companies of all sizes, industries, and geographies to learn from. See your colleagues’ latest thinking and work in the new “Members in the News” section below. Hear from some of our members how they are taking action to meet global challenges here.
This platform will soon enable companies to share not only their commitments to action, but also to document their progress. This will enable the Council to highlight member progress individually and collectively. It will also empower companies to learn from each other’s successes and learnings. We look forward to providing greater detail in coming weeks and to invite you to share your progress.
Meredith Sumpter, CEO
Learn more about the Council through the words of our members — and share our mission with others. In our latest publication, “Taking Action to Meet Global Challenges,” Steward members share their best ideas and discuss their commitment to creating a more inclusive capitalism.
Ujjivan’s CEO Nitin Chugh on Building Economically Inclusive Communities
Sustainability in the Energy Sector with Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz
Lynn Forester de Rothschild on Founding the Council for Inclusive Capitalism
The Importance of Collective Action with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma
Turning Intention into Action with Ad Maiora CEO Fabio Scalet
Meet the Council: Fiona Ma, CA State Treasurer
As the 34th California State Treasurer, Fiona Ma oversees an investment portfolio of more than $102 billion, approximately $20 billion of which are local government funds. See how Fiona and the California State Treasurer’s Office are taking action for a more inclusive capitalism.
In what ways has the influence of the Council motivated you to act?
Renowned futurist William Gibson stated that “the future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” I recognize that, for too long, capitalistic systems have unfairly and disproportionately rewarded the powerful and wealthy. That is why I am proud to Chair the Boards of several thrift programs housed in the California State Treasurer’s Office that enable and encourage ordinary individuals’ participation in a system that might otherwise leave them behind. These include savings programs for employees of companies that do not offer retirement benefits, families hoping to save for college, and individuals living with a disability. As a part of my role on the Council, I’ve committed to dramatically increasing enrollment in these three savings programs and our milestone data suggests we have been tremendously successful so far.
When most of us think of capitalism, we think of for-profit businesses selling goods or services to make money. What role do government financial agencies have in shaping the economic system?
Highly functioning and inclusive capitalistic systems flourish and survive only when governments set rules that treat each element of the overall economy fairly. In short, laws and regulation that establish and protect property rights for a select few must be accompanied by laws and regulation that protect the public interest, including the rights of workers.
When owners of the means of production (capital assets and financial assets), gain outsized influence over government regulations and policies, the public’s interest may be impeded or distorted. Economic equality breeds the long-term success of any free market economy.
Governments can promote this success by establishing regulatory and tax frameworks that avoid excess privatization of economic gains and widespread socialization of economic losses.
Governments should focus on investments in both hard and soft infrastructure assets to support both the ownership class and the workers. Examples include, relevant educational systems, worker education and retraining, workplace safety protection, and the physical assets needed to move goods to and from the marketplace.
Welcome New Council Members
Executive Chairman, Accounting for Sustainability
Bruce R. Shaw
Executive Director, Denny Center for Democratic Capitalism at Georgetown Law
Darryl Finkton Jr.
Community Organizer, End Poverty. Make Trillions
Founder & Chairman, Gemini Corporation NV
Founding Partner, Fortis Lux Financial
Founder, Imagine Democracy
Klaus R. Kirchhoff
Founder and CEO, Kirchoff Consult AG
CEO, Noble Money
Lionel C. Johnson
President, Pacific Pension & Investment Institute (PPI)
Founder, Reward Value Foundation
Robert W. van Zweiten
The CEO, The Serendra Group
Managing Partner, Smith+Co (Iberia)
CEO, Suntory Holdings Limited
CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Dr. Ted Sun
President and CEO, Transcontinental University
Dr. Farah Spencer
Chief Investment Advisor, TuT-GA
Founder and CEO, The Wisdom Company
Inclusive Capitalism in the News
Bloomberg | SEC Rules for Workplace Data Would Be Good for Investors
Fortune | The Infrastructure Bill is Vital to America’s Economic Future
Fast Company | How Activist Hedge Funds Went from Corporate Raiders to Climate Heroes
Crain’s Cleveland | Personal View: Infrastructure Investment Equals Big Returns
NuWire Investor | How Sustainable IPOs are Helping Businesses to Dream of Huge Valuations
Members in the News
TIME Opinion | Darren Walker: If Employers Are Serious About Meaningful Change, They Must Reorient Jobs to Center Around Workers
CNN Business Opinion | Rich Lesser: 3 Ways Companies Can Help Advance Racial Equality
Financial Times | Mukesh Ambani: Reliance backs US energy storage start-up Ambri in $144m fundraising
Bloomberg | Brian Moynihan: Bank of America to Bump Pay for Junior Bankers for Second Time in a Year
Responsible Investor | Hiro Mizuno Appointed to G7’s New Impact Taskforce
Power Philippines | Eric Francia: AC Energy’s Green Bond Sale Oversubscribed by More Than 5 Times, Raising $2 Billion
SustainableBrands.com | James Loree: Stanley Black & Decker Recognized as Leader in CSR Education Strategy