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Jan 2023

EoM Supports New Singapore Purpose-Led Business Framework


January 2023

On January 12, 2023, Singapore’s National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), the philanthropic arm of Singapore’s government, publicly released its “Framework and Blueprint for Corporate Purpose” in the presence of government and business leaders at its inaugural Company of Good Singapore Summit.

The framework has been designed to improve business impact on the world. It sets out in-depth criteria for organizations to be recognised as a Company of Good by NVPC and the Singapore Business Federation across five impact areas: people, environment, society, economic, and governance.

Jay Jakub, of the Economics of Mutuality (EoM) movement, was an advisor to NVPC and its Alliance for Action on Corporate Purpose unit throughout the framework creation process, which involved 18 months of research and consultation with public, private, and non-profit partners.

As a result, the framework draws on EoM concepts and methodology as set out in the 2021 Oxford University Press book Putting Purpose into Practice: The Economics of Mutuality. Indeed, it uses the definition of corporate purpose developed by the book’s Co-Editor and long-time EoM partner, Oxford Professor Colin Mayer CBE:

“In these documents, we propose that the purpose of business is to solve the problems of people and the planet profitably, and not profit from causing problems.”

One of the many aspects of EoM present in the framework is an ecosystem approach. The executive summary states:

“Purposeful businesses are vital to addressing the global challenges of the 21st century but cannot do so alone. Looking beyond individual companies, we have also proposed an ecosystem approach to creating an enabling environment for corporate purpose. This explores how various actors in society – from investors to educators – can come together to help Singapore become a Purpose-led society.”

Melissa Aratani Kwee, a driving force behind the framework while serving as CEO of NVPC Singapore, will be speaking at the 7th Annual Oxford Economics of Mutuality Virtual Forum on Thursday 23rd February in a panel discussion on the question “What role should partnerships between business and government / international institutions play in driving systemic transformation?”. To learn more about the Forum and to register, click here.

Ms. Kwee’s successor as NVPC CEO, Tony Soh, is a graduate of the Oxford EoM Executive Education Program, along with several of his NVPC colleagues.

Of the framework, Ms. Kwee has said:

“Ultimately it is in Singapore and for Singapore, but also for the great world beyond. Imagine if every company simply began asking themselves the question ‘How are we creating net-positive value with profitable solutions to the problems of people and planet?’ It will happen if we do not give up.”

To learn more about the framework and Company of Good initiative, visit this website. You can also read the framework in PDF format by clicking the button below.  And to learn more about EoM, click here.


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