Social wellbeing cannot be reduced to GDP; quality of life, ethical standards, safety systems, and personal achievements are not accounted for by the size of an economy. And in reflection of this, the contribution of business in society goes far beyond the production of wealth.
Companies have the power to spur innovation around an identified common problem. They cultivate the expertise in generating and allocating resources – financial, capital, or human – to develop practical solutions that create ripples of value.
Their products and services add value to customers directly, but value-creation does not stop with the final transaction. Company employees also share in the created value, as do company shareholders and the country’s economy as a whole. As simple and self-centric as it appears, our market economy has evolved into a complex, community-centric system.
However, this deep link between business and people is rarely put to strategic use by social stakeholders. On the contrary, many times companies are confined to a money-generating space and their wide-reaching contribution to social wellbeing remains overlooked or, at best, acknowledged with a degree of suspicion.
Those who do wrong, are labelled as business. When in reality, they should be called criminals.
The Covid-19 emergency should empower businesses to come closer to society and treat communities less like market segments and more like centres of human action.
The time is ripe for a synergetic view of the private and public sectors: their relationship within the social space should now supersede a give-and-take mechanism and both sides must collaborate as equal agents to accomplish a shared project for society.
Corporate ID Group is spearheading this vision for social innovation driven by a confluence of business, civil society, and public administrators to shape policy, implement programmes and develop products and services that address social needs while sustaining the country’s growth.
Backed by a strong network of experts in overlapping fields covering academia, business, the public sector, and the social sector, Corporate ID Group is launching CiNext – the long-term initiative to remodel Malta’s economy into a social enterprise by 2030.
Changes need to be made at the structural level for businesses and social actors to realise the broader purpose that every company has the promise to serve. By adding a social dimension to their offering, businesses are moving into the next stage of capitalism: meeting the needs of more stakeholders, delivering wellness to society, cultivating knowledge, and ensuring revenues to limit lay-offs and pay current operating costs.
This is the beginning of a repurposing exercise that will transform the way companies bring lasting value to the communities they serve.