The sort of growth cultivated in the last few decades has come without sufficient regard to its quality or distribution.
In business, excessive focus on shareholder value and short-term objectives is problematic for social justice and sustainability. Benefits are failing to ‘trickle down’ and environmental costs grow, becoming more apparent every day. This article explores a New Economic Paradigm that involves upstream change via systemic shifts; delivering social and environmental outcomes from the outset rather than ameliorating or mitigating damage caused by current structures. Businesses can be facilitator, enhancer and deliverer of such change. To illustrate this, this discussion considers how and when businesses can advance safe and just development in terms of local economies; work; and quality rather than quantity of output. It reflects on the role of the state in galvanising effective contribution of business, for example, by inculcating new horizons and incentives; creating widened goals; and reconstituting business.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 46.3 (2015) Building Back Better: Business Contributing to a New Economic Paradigm