The global financial crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, was meant to signal the end of corporate greed, of neo-conservative economics. The 2010 election was meant to herald an end to populist politics and obsessive media management: a ‘new paradigm’ no less! From corporations, from governments, we were promised social equity, long term policy agendas, good governance and straight talk.
A glance at the polls, at corporate ‘trust’ meters, and it’s quiet clear: the majority of Australians neither believe in the vision of the nation’s leaders nor feel any significant loyalty to their employer.
Granted, the scope of current issues are complex: carbon price, affordable housing, a ‘two speed economy’, natural disasters, to name a few. But there are always a range of challenges facing Australians; it’s how we deal with them that defines the strength, unity, confidence and future success of our community.
We have a short window of opportunity to acknowledge that current models are not working before we let memories soften with time only to repeat the same mistakes in years to come. We do need a new paradigm, but it must form at the intersection of community, government and business. It needs to begin with the agreement that healthy, confident and connected citizens will mean more profits for business, a balanced budget for governments and the achievement of social outcomes for non-profit organisations. The focus should not be on ultimatums, bargains or unilateral agreements.
The focus should be on shared value.
Ellis Jones is a founding member of the Shared Value Project: visit the site.