A modern company is one that is good for business, planet, nation and community. Tom Levitt is an active advisor for whatCharity who has collaborated with us over the past 2 years of our existence. In conversation with the former BBC journalist Linda Lewis, this podcast explains why the potential for delivering good can no longer be underestimated.
“This conversation describes how I evolved the name and concept of the ‘company citizen’. I prefer the phrase to ‘CSR’, which in too many cases describes activity which is short term, superficial, voluntary, not impact-driven and not related to the company mission. But we all know that ‘citizenship’ is a balance of rights and responsibilities, that a balanced citizen can’t have one without the other. To me the ‘company citizen’ lives up to their responsibilities, respects the rights and responsibilities of others and is a good neighbour. In the long term this proves to be a good business decision!”– Tom Levitt, Writer/Consultant on Responsible and Sustainable Business, Sector 4 Focus
Now more than it is is clear that society is made up of interconnected parts, parts that must work in harmony with one another in order to keep the whole stable. The time has come for all of society to rethink its prescribed roles and responsibilities. Citizens have the power to affect the wellbeing of society, and businesses are as much involved citizens of society as they are corporate entities.
Whether by choice or not, businesses are at the forefront of opportunities for positive change when it comes to getting society through the tough times. Social change actually allows for the opportunity for companies to show their true worth. This podcast highlights the necessity for businesses to realise this potential for good and to become more involved with the conscious side of business than has traditionally been expected.
Tom Levitt is a writer and consultant on responsible business and the author of ‘The Courage to Meddle’ (2020) and ‘The Company Citizen’ (2018). A former Member of Parliament and a serial charity chair, his clients have included major businesses, think tanks, councils, social enterprises and others. He’s the co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise, Fair for You, and chairs a Taskforce on ‘Business Schools and the Public Good’ for the Chartered Association of Business Schools. He was a member of a BSI committee looking at enhancing social value.
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