From November 28 to December 1, world leaders from 21 countries gathered in São Paulo at Sistema B’s annual conference, Encuentro +B, to discuss how the B Movement, including B Corps, The B Team and a growing ecosystem of investors, civil society leaders and academics, can catalyse the transition to a regenerative, inclusive and humane economy. Together recognising that Plan A, business as usual, is no longer an option, these leaders demonstrated that it is possible to do business a different way; one that generates positive impact for the people and planet with purpose at its core.
In discussions, plenary sessions and interactive workshops, participants worked to develop solutions to problems facing Latin America and the world in a rapidly changing geopolitical context; solutions that help create a sustainable and inclusive economy.
“In the B Movement, we seek to be agents of change, citizens and entrepreneurs who use business to build a more integrated, regenerative economy that includes all of us,” said Juan Pablo Larenas, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sistema B International.
“Our challenge is to create a major change in corporate culture and thereby enable the 125 million companies that exist in the world (according to the World Bank) to behave like B Corps,” Marcel Fukayama, Co-Founder of Sistema B Brasil, emphasised, “For this, we need to continue aligning the interests of businesses with those of society, and ensure that these companies measure and report their socio-environmental impacts with the same rigor that they do with financial data. Adding big companies to this movement will help us accelerate this systemic change, and with that, all stakeholders will have better choices and better results.”
The participation of large corporations in the B Movement is essential to developing an inclusive, regenerative economy. In the event’s closing conversation, B Team Leader Guilherme Leal, Co-Founder of Natura, discussed the power of “B” and Natura’s historic decision to become a B Corp: “I am sure that being part of the B Movement gives you a competitive advantage over the commitment of your employees. Young talent is leaving large companies to create their own, since they can’t work in large corporations without purpose. So we decided to say, ‘why not?’ and join this movement.” A corporate pioneer in the B Movement, Natura became the largest and first publicly-traded B Corp in the world in 2014, and most recently, successfully closed the first billion-dollar B Corp acquisition.
On the panel “Movements of Movements,” B Team Managing Director Rajiv Joshi took this message further adding, “In the B Corp movement, so many companies are demonstrating how we can build a better way of doing business. But now is also the time to take a stand. We can use our combined influence and power to do a lot more in the word. What could we do if we were to connect the power of global leaders committed to this cause with the groundswell of millions of B Corps who are increasingly using their companies and their voice to demonstrate how we can build a new economy?”
To take your first steps in the B Movement, get started with the Born B Impact Assessment and join a community of over 2,300 B Corps around the world working together to catalyse a better way of doing business.
Questions? Contact us at BornB@bteam.org.
Photos by Renata Thomson