“For 33 years, the Caux Round Table has been a leading voice for moral capitalism. The 25th anniversary of Principles for Business is an important milestone in the history of ethical business practice. The Caux Round Table has made American business better. We celebrate your success and look forward to continued moral leadership from your organization.”
On Friday, November 22, the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism (CRT) celebrated the 25th anniversary of our Principles for Business.
The Principles foreshadowed the rapidly growing awareness of the need for corporations, both public and private, to adopt – and initiate – goals to create a sustainable operation. The Principles and our call for a “moral capitalism” also helped shape the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They have been cited as a model by a growing number of business leaders and politicians, such as the Business Roundtable and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
The 25th anniversary was celebrated with a luncheon that featured a number of presenters, including Douglas M. Baker, Jr., CEO of Ecolab, and Paul Polman, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever.
To highlight the history of Minnesota leadership, we produced a short film for the event titled “The Minnesota Legacy.” The process that led to the founding of the Principles was initiated in Minnesota by Minnesota business leaders.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s (CRT) Principles of Business, a groundbreaking compilation of rules that can be used to create a sustainable economic system guided by ethical values – what we call “moral capitalism.”
In the years since their publication, there has been a growing and increasingly urgent interest in how to promote sustainable business practices that will ensure a more equitable and fair economy. The U.N. drew upon our principles in composing its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In more recent years, the call for a moral capitalism that puts the needs of a company’s full range of shareholders, including employees, the local community and the environment itself at the center of corporate responsibility, while public figures like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., have also adopted not just the principles, but moral capitalism.
Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, the CRT has chapters in several countries in Europe, Central America and the Far East. In addition to holding round table discussions, we also conduct annual global dialogues that bring together business executives, academics and activists from around the world. We also hold workshops and created Arcturus, a comprehensive way for businesses to measure and record their sustainable practices.
Despite all the effort and work, ours is neither a large nor heavily endowed organization. All of our work is supported by donations from private sources.
In this issue, we include a piece on Thorstein Veblen and his theory of conspicuous consumption, an article by me on thymos, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s “A World Split Apart” speech and Centesimus Annus by Pope John Paull II.
I would be most interested in your thoughts and feedback.
Well, our world keeps turning this way and that towards the “last syllable of recorded time.” Turkey invades Syria; the U.K. Parliament befuddles Brexit efforts; private equity houses reduce their presumed valuations of Unicorn start-ups; clouds appear over global economic growth.
Paul Gauguin once asked, “Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?”
President Abraham Lincoln asked, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
To answer these and similar questions of our own, please join us for our 2019 Global Dialogue on November 22 and 23 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
As I have reported to you before, the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism (CRT) has taken an interest in learning more about certain covenants made by the Prophet Muhammad to respect and protect Christian communities. The CRT’s search for common values, which call forth responsible behaviors in our economic enterprises supported by just societies, has drawn us to the study of our different wisdom traditions. In our study of Islam, the covenants were brought to our attention. Our first workshop to learn more about them from Muslim scholars in the CRT network was held in the Vatican on January 19th of this year.
Our second workshop was just held on October 5th in Istanbul at Istanbul Sehir University. Our former Chairman, Lord Daniel Brennan, convened the meeting with the very able assistance of Professor Abdullah Al-Ahsan and his colleagues at Sehir University. Important presentations were made by Professor Ibrahim Zein and his associate Ahmed El-Wakil of Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar.
Ahmet Davutoglu, former Prime Minister of Turkey, attended the dinner after the workshop.
My assessment of our study, so far, is that these covenants of the Prophet Muhammad should be accepted as part of the Sunnah of the Prophet and so should become guidelines for mutual respect between Muslims and Christians everywhere. Such respect would bring much needed tolerance and harmony to our global community.
Lord Brennan, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi and I called on His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of the Eastern Orthodox Church while we were in Istanbul to brief him on the results so far of our workshops. The Patriarch graciously expressed his thanks for our efforts and offered his support as we continue our studies. Previously, we had received very thoughtful encouragement from Pope Francis and Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
In this issue, we explore the history and impact of the labor movement in the U.S. We also include two pieces, one by Martin Luther and the other by Frederick Winslow Taylor, that offer two very different ways of thinking about labor.
I would be most interested in your thoughts and feedback.
In this issue, we review two new publications that not only offer hope but also evidence of how universally accepted the need for a sustainable form of capitalism has become. We also include a comment about the Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.
We would be most interested in your thoughts and feedback.
Of special note, Paul Polman, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever, will be joining us for lunch on November 22nd. We’re working on a number of other distinguished guests, as well.
An official invitation, along with registration information, will be available shortly.