News | 25th June 2020

Business Beyond COVID-19: Maximising Resilience to Extra‑Financial Risks

By Paul Clements-Hunt

What can business learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

What forms of collaboration can enable our global community to tackle a broad range of systemic risks more effectively? What are the legal and investor implications of how business has faced up to the unimaginable complexity of the COVID-19 crisis? How can we make the best of this crisis to form a new blueprint for action?

These questions are the focus of a global discussion process led by The Blended Capital Group and The Legal 500. Future‑Fit Foundation is pleased to be a key knowledge partner in this discussion, and this paper is our contribution to it.

The process began with an online conversation in Johannesburg on June 18th. Judge Professor Mervyn King and Professor Paul Q. Watchman framed the debate, emphasising dual priorities: to drive systems change through integrative collaboration; and to increase the culture of risk awareness as societal values shift rapidly in the light of COVID-19.

Why start in South Africa? From the end of Apartheid in 1994, South African business demonstrated an openness to explore new forms of collaboration and integrated thinking. Facets of this change over 30 years have been embedded in the powerful Johannesburg Stock Exchange. As the COVID-19 crisis accelerated, Business for South Africa was created to help drive a collaborative cross-society response. What better place to begin than a country which has envisioned and acted on profound systemic change?

Over the next six months the discussion will visit a further nine cities, spanning the globe from Tokyo to Sao Paolo. We will dissect how businesses in different jurisdictions have collaborated with a broad range of stakeholders to respond to the profound socio-economic and health impacts of the pandemic.

The process will culminate in December 2020 with a presentation to a major United Nations investor conference on the steps required for effective cross-sector action to manage, mitigate and reduce the impacts of systemic risks.

Please join us for this discussion, which is fully aligned with realising our vision of a Future-Fit Society.

Paul Clements-Hunt Chairman of the Board

View profile