The Creating Sustainable Companies Summit held in Brussels on 28 September brought together over 100 participants and counted more than 30 speakers and 9 different panel discussions with the objective of rethinking a sustainable and inclusive corporate governance framework. 

The Purpose of Corporation Project will continue to connect thought leaders from business as well as academia and civil society with an aim to foster implementation of the conclusions reached at the summit, develop practical solutions, and create an evidence base to support change.

A summary of selected high-level reflections expressed by summit speakers and the outline of the summit agenda can be found in the below PDF.  
Read summit highlights (PDF)

If you wish to see again the plenary discussions, presentation of the Corporate Governance for a Changing World report, and sessions on fiduciary duties and corporate reporting, videos are already available on our Youtube channel:
Richard Howitt, Member of European Parliament and incoming CEO of the IIRC: "The failure to address social, environmental and human rights impacts of companies in the past, partly derives from a failure to understand that these can be just as material to the future of the company as the economic impacts contained in existing corporate reporting."

John Kay, leading economist, well-known author and Financial Times Columnist: "What is the purpose of business? It is to make products people want, it is to make money for investors, it is to provide a satisfying work environment for the people who live there, and above all, it is to leave all the communities in which they operate better rather than worst off as a result of their activities."

Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality: "The private sector, as an agent of economic growth, has a large role to play in determining whether the growth it creates is inclusive for long-term growth, competitiveness, and sustainable prosperity. We need well governed companies that are resilient, responsive and responsible. These companies will easier be able to adapt, manage risks and benefit from the new generation of opportunities that arise." 

Jeroen Veldman, Senior Research Fellow at Cass Business School: "We found that there is a huge amount of people, major actors out there, who have the same shared sense of urgency about this model producing unwanted outcomes in terms of short-term value creating (...) What we need is a comprehensive rethink of what corporate governance is and what it is for." 

Beate Sjåfjell, professor at the University of Oslo: “We need a corporate law reform which operationalizes the planetary boundaries on the corporate level; redefining the purpose of the company and role and duties of the board, including the drawing up of a sustainable business plan."

Jean-Guillaume Peladan, Head of Environmental Investments & Research at Sycomore Asset Management"the transition to sustainable economy presents an opportunity for a new inspiring societal project. Companies that lead the way in the energy and automotive sectors demonstrate the opportunities of this approach."

The Corporate Governance for a Changing World report was released at the summit in Brussels. It presents an emerging comprehensive approach to corporate governance that can assist corporations to develop a broad understanding of their purpose, as well as build a corporate strategy that will deliver long-term sustainable value, build organisational resilience, and sustain a strong social license.

The online platform 'issuu' allows you to read the report, download the file or get a personalised embed code to share the report in your website. 
 Get link here
Share the report
The Purpose of the Corporation project created an edited bibliography on Mendeley for corporate governance research and academic papers. This platform allows you to download scholarly articles and add materials related to corporate purpose
 Check Mendeley here
UK Parliament Inquiry on Corporate Governance

An inquiry conducted by the UK Parliamentary Committee on Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) examines the role and duties of directors, the duty to promote the long term success of the company and the integration of stakeholder concerns into corporate governance. We encourage you to participate and send a written response (submission deadline: 26 October 2016). More information:

Coverage of the summit

We encourage you to publish your comments and reflections about the report and the discussions held at the summit in your websites and media collaborations. 
L4BB has kindly offered to publish short reflections in their website. If you are interested, please write to

Too many see becoming the boss as a 'prize, not a responsibility' Stefan Stern in Financial Times.

A new approach to corporate governance: does this mean ending capitalism? ActionAid's blog post.

Conference report 'Creating Sustainable Companies' summit: shareholder primacy needs overhauling. Elena K. Johansson in Responsible Investor.

Six ideas for improving reporting - and by extension, corporate governance. Paige Morrow's blog post in IIRC.

5 Steps for Stronger Companies. Paige Morrow in Triple Pundit.

What is the Purpose of the Corporation? Governance Institute of Australia.

Other news

Corporate Executives are Making Way More Money Than Anybody Reports. William Lazonich and Matt Hopkins in The Atlantic.

Long-Term Matters - Addicted to dumb ideasRaj Thamotheram in IPE.

Improving EU Corporate Governance. Paige Morrow on the Shareholder Rights Directive in E!Sharp.

How corporation can be a force of good. Tom Wilson in the Washington Post.

ISO/TC 309 Organizational governance. ISO is developing standard on corporate governance. Currently they lack representation from a number of continental European countries, including Belgium.

'Shaking the Foundations of Governance - Ownershop' event. Organised by UKPGA and CRSA Forum, 1st of November - London.

 LinkedIn Group: If you wish to participate in the discussion and be informed of the latest developments on corporate governance, we encourage you to join our private LinkedIn Group.

Quick note about us: The Purpose of the Corporation project provides a strategic, open-source platform for leading experts and organisations interested in promoting the long-term health and sustainability of publicly listed companies, policy making and business management. It is an initiative led by Frank Bold, a purpose driven law firm using the power of business and non-profit approaches to solve social and environmental problems.
Copyright ©2015 Frank Bold, All rights reserved.

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