Flew from Berlin Tegel to Bern in a small plane – and was then picked up by car for the ride to Lausanne. Arrived slightly late for the reception at the Museum of the Olympics, but in good time for the subsequent dinner. some great people and conversations. And a lovely Moon as we walked out towards the lake afterwards to catch our bus back to the hotel.
The next day saw the 2014 Creating Shared Value Forum, where I was on a panel on sustainable supply chains.
And the overall message of the event? Business must reject short-term thinking and focus instead on long-term value creation for shareholders and society, was the way Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke put it. “The global debt crisis was, in many ways, a values crisis,” he argued.
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, gave an interesting speech – focusing on what he called “blue diplomacy,” which involves improving access to good quality water worldwide. For some background, see here.
Nestlé’s Chairman Peter Brabeck, told the Forum that, “We believe that there should be universal access to truly safe, not only improved, drinking water by 2025,” adding that the goal should be to accelerate the provision of access to improved sanitation to at least 120 million additional people per year.
Sadly, 2014 is to be Peter’s last CSV Council session. When he announced that in the Council meeting today, I made a short, unscheduled interjection to celebrate the role he has played, in both the Shared Value and water spaces.
The Council meetings are confidential, but it was great to hear an update on the evolution of the Shared Value Initiative from Mark Kramer. Am feeling much more positive about all of that now the Shared Value/Sustainability tensions have subsided.
For me, one key development this year at the Forum was the fact that Honey Care Africa won the Nestlé CSV Prize. I have long loved what they do, since meeting them through the Skoll World Forum, I think. I remember co-founder Farouk Jiwa telling me that the enterprise was developed along what we might dub triple bottom lines.
Then rode out to Geneva airport with Kraisid Tontisirin, Director of the Institute of Nutrition at Mahidol University in Thailand and FAO’s former Director of the Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division.
Another great conversation, alongside so many others this week. Thank you all.