Politicians in the board room? How government should handle responsible business

In conversation with Dambisa Moyo and Karthik Ramanna
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Online event
Open to the public
This event is free
10
September 2021
Discussion

Globally there is a wide expectation that business should be more socially responsible and in recent years businesses have started to rhetorically embrace this expectation. COVID-19 seems to have accelerated the trend of business becoming more attentive to creating positive environmental and community impact.

That ‘businesses should do good for society’ is an uncontroversial statement, yet how is this to be achieved? Is it a good idea for businesses to play a prominent social role or to focus on returns for shareholders? The issue is more complex than it seems. Socially responsible businesses must choose priorities and ultimately may be making decisions that are political. Considering the lobbying capability of business, what is the dividing line between the Cabinet Room and the board room? Should representative governments see social outcomes as their duty alone, or encourage responsible business as the best way to realise social value from global corporate giants that are increasingly hard to tax? Do boards even have the right to choose social causes to allocate company money to?

Join two outstanding thought leaders – Dr Dambisa Moyo, global economist and best-selling author, and Karthik Ramanna, Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government – for an engaging discussion on how governments can support responsible business. 

The conference will take place online. To attend, please register at this link. 

This public talk is hosted by the Government Outcomes Lab, as part of the Social Outcomes Conference 2021.

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About the speakers

Dr Dambisa Moyo is a global economist and best-selling author, known for her analysis of macroeconomics and global affairs. She serves on the boards of Chevron Corporation, Condé Nast and the 3M Company. Moyo worked for two years at the World Bank and eight years at Goldman Sachs before becoming an author and international public speaker. She has written four New York Times bestselling books: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa (2009), How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead (2011), Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (2012), and the most recent Edge of Chaos (book): Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth – and How to Fix It (2018).

She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA from American University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a DPhil in economics from the University of Oxford.

Karthik Ramanna is Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. An expert on business-government relations, sustainable capitalism, and corporate reporting and auditing, Professor Ramanna has studied how organisations build trust with stakeholders and the role of business in designing sensible and responsible “rules of the game”. He has authored dozens of research articles and case studies on non-market strategies in Africa, China, the EU, India, and the US, and he has consulted with several leading business organisations worldwide, including Fidelity, KPMG, McKinsey, PwC, Sonae, and State Street. His scholarship has won numerous awards, including the Journal of Accounting & Economics Best Paper Prize and twice the international Case Centre’s Outstanding Case-Writer prize, dubbed by the Financial Times “the business school Oscars.”

Previously, Professor Ramanna taught leadership, corporate governance, and accounting at the Harvard Business School in both the MBA and senior executive-education programs. He has a doctorate from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including as co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Accounting, Economics & Law.