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Local WEF event turns to business for help

Aug 20 2014 13:21
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Business should join in a new social covenant with government and civil society in order to find solutions for more practical localised government decisions, according to Daniel Malan, director of the Centre for Corporate Governance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB).

This urgent call will go out during high level discussions to be held at the University of Stellenbosch from August 27 to 29.

Speakers will include Klaus Schwab, executive director of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the former Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel.   

The purpose of the event, which is hosted by the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Values (of which Malan is a member) and the University of Stellenbosch and sponsored by Barclays, is to show how such a new social covenant could improve society.

“This is part of a broader project of the WEF and follows on a discussion document releases at Davos in 2013 and a similar type of event held at Georgetown University in Washington DC last year,” Malan told Fin24.

“We want to further engage in critical dialogue on a new social covenant.  Issues like rising inequality led to people losing trust in the economy and government.  We believe there should be a return to core global values, to commitment to common good, the dignity of individuals and stewardship of the planet.”

Within this covenant there is a very specific role for the business community, because of the economic power, specific skills and access to technology that business has.

“This cannot be done in isolation, however, so the business community must enter into partnerships with civil society and government and explore what the different sectors can bring to the table,” said Malan.

For him the real power behind this initiative is that support for the covenant in principle must be followed by engagement with stakeholders and a commitment to dignity and common good.

This event is probably the first of its sort to be presented in SA and Africa, where the WEF collaborates with a local university, according to Malan.

As part of the event there will be two discussions open to the public. It will take place at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (Stias) on Wednesday August 27 from 13:00 to 14:00 and on Friday from 13:00 to 14:00.

More information is available on #newsocialcov and on www.anewsocialcovenant.org

- Fin24

wef  |  stellenbosch university  |  economy
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