Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz reveal The B Team Leaders and kick-start a Plan B for business
London, 13 June, 2013 – The B Team, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, revealed its starting line-up of business leaders today. They will work together to deliver a new way of doing business that prioritises people and planet alongside profit – a “Plan B” for businesses the world over.
The leaders joining The B Team founders Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz are:
- Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, United Nations Foundation
- Arianna Huffington, Chair, President & Editor In Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group
- Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Celtel
- Guilherme Leal, Founder & Co-Chairman, Natura
- Strive Masiyiwa, Founder & Chairman, Econet Wireless
- Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Government of Nigeria
- François-Henri Pinault, CEO & Chairman, Kering
- Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
- Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group
- Zhang Yue, Founder and Chairman, Broad Group
- Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Centre
- Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair, The Elders (Honorary Leader)
- Mary Robinson, Secretary, The Elders and President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice (Honorary Leader)
The initial “B Leaders” have been selected by a global network of advisors. They have come together as a group of committed business leaders to use their collective voice to help engage other leaders and will act as a catalyst to help deliver “Plan B”. They will work with partners to break down entrenched barriers and ensure there is a clear way forward.
The B Team will address three initial Challenges: “The Future of Leadership”, “The Future Bottom Line” and “The Future of Incentives” to help focus business away from short term gain and to balance the long term benefits for our people and our planet.
In a live online broadcast to over 500 hundred gatherings in more than 115 cities around the world, The B Team Leaders also issued a joint Declaration today (bteam.org/about/declaration), acknowledging key global problems such as growing inequality, unemployment and the unsustainable use of natural resources. The group commits to accelerating a movement of leaders around the world driven by a better way of doing business.
“Today we want to start a global conversation on a “Plan B” for business,” said co-founder Sir Richard Branson, “We are working with government agencies, the social sector, and business leaders to help get on top of some of the world’s seemingly intractable challenges. We are keen to listen, learn and share with others to build businesses that do what’s right for people and the planet.”
“Business is integral to society, but it has also created most of the negative environmental challenges of this century,” co-founder Jochen Zeitz said today, “The B Team will help to catalyse a shift away from the existing short-term, unsustainable mindset, towards the long-term interest of people, the planet and the wider economy. Tackling these three challenges is a starting point for a “Plan B” to form.” “The Future of Leadership” Challenge will seek to accelerate a new kind of inclusive leadership underpinned by a moral compass of being fair, honest, positive and creative (bteam.org/about/compass-beliefs). This is founded on cooperation and will be aimed at generating long-term value for society, the economy and the environment.
“The evolution of business leadership away from a focus on short-term profits is essential for the future generation of leaders,” said Arianna Huffington. “We need a “Plan B” for the way business is managed, starting with leadership more committed to well-being, wisdom and sustainable business success. The only way to enjoy a long-term healthy bottom line is with a workplace that supports the well-being of employees. We want to accelerate that shift by putting the spotlight on business leaders at the forefront of this movement and connecting them with each other.”
The “Future Bottom Line” Challenge seeks to accelerate a move away from single-minded financial “short-termism”, towards a focus on the long term, and will aim to expand corporate accountability beyond financial gains to include negative and positive contributions to the economy, environment and society.
In driving forward the “Future of Incentives” Challenge, The B Team will work with partners to develop new corporate and employee incentive structures and to identify and map both positive and harmful subsidies. This will help to shift market and business behavior towards incentives that maximize social, environmental and economic benefit.
“Positive market incentives operating in the public interest are too few and far between, and are also up against a seemingly never-ending expansion of perverse incentives and lobbying,” said Mo Ibrahim, “There are models that can help change this and we will work to create new incentives in dialogue with businesses, the social sector and governments.”
The B Team will be holding a series of community events over the coming months. Input from stakeholders participating in today’s global digital gathering will contribute to The B Team’s plans for these first three Challenges and the formation of a comprehensive “Plan B” for business. The B Team is also encouraging the general public to submit their views on a new charter for better business at www.bteam.org.
To register for the live online broadcast scheduled at 9:30 AM BST, 13 June 2013 please go to: http://media.bte.am
About The B Team
The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative that has been formed by a group of global business leaders to create a future where the purpose of business is to be a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit. The initial B Leaders include: Sir Richard Branson, Kathy Calvin, Arianna Huffington, Mo Ibrahim, Guilherme Leal, Strive Masiyiwa, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, François-Henri Pinault, Paul Polman, Ratan Tata, Zhang Yue, Professor Muhammad Yunus and Jochen Zeitz. Joining The B Team as Honorary B Leaders are Mary Robinson representing People and Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland representing Planet.
Working with a global community of advisors and partners, The B Team seeks to develop and implement a Plan B for business that puts people and planet alongside profit. The B Leaders will focus on execution and action, catalysing and amplifying others’ efforts by undertaking specific global Challenges where their collective voice can make a difference.
The B Team Founders and Co-Chairs are Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz. They are joined by supporters who make up the Founders Circle including Derek Handley (founding CEO), Havas Media, Strive Masiyiwa, Joann McPike, Blake Mycoskie, Kering/PUMAVision, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Virgin Unite (initial incubator of The B Team). For more information, please visit: www.bteam.org or follow @thebteamhq on Twitter.
Download the press release here.