Sep 2020

Creating Positive Mutual Impact: An IMD Webinar

Published September 2020

Bruno Roche, EoM Founder & Executive Director, took part in a webinar hosted by Vanina Farber, Professor for Social Innovation at the Institute for Management Development (IMD), a leading business school based in Lausanne, Switzerland and Singapore.

Bruno provided an introduction to the Economics of Mutuality (EoM) and answered a number of questions including the following:

  • Can companies rethink how they relate to their broader ecosystem to create positive mutual impact?

  • How can EoM offer a framework to transform business models and unlock innovation?

  • How can companies transform their purpose into strategy?

A recording of the session is available to watch at the bottom of this page. An extract from Bruno’s contribution has been included below.

We are gradually moving from a shareholder form of capitalism to a stakeholder form of capitalism. But the transition is not easy. There have been hundreds of initiatives that have tried to push business in this direction.

It started with the non-profit world and then gained some interest within academia. But, frankly speaking, it’s not yet a reality in business. The reason for this is that it’s presented as a cost or a constraint on business. However, I believe that it’s an innovation.

Businesses that know how to mobilize other forms of capital and that are capable of doing so not only within the boundaries of their firm, but also in the ecosystem in which they operate, will not only have a better impact on society and the environment, but will also outperform economically.

Financial capitalism works, but it’s suboptimal. There is a better model. The Economics of Mutuality demonstrates from an academic perspective as well as a concrete business perspective that companies that build a strategy on mobilising multiple forms of capital and developing reciprocal relationships with their stakeholders outperform.

So it is an innovation. It’s not a way to look good or to feel good. It’s not a way to mitigate risk. It is an innovation similar to technological innovation. When a business invests in technology, it expects a return from that investment.

Extract edited for space and clarity. Image: Wikimedia.

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