Prosperity, Sustainable Value Creation and the Social Contract



Two new publications, one from the World Economic Forum (WEF) published in January and one from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), just published, make interesting reading. The WEF published a consultation paper, in collaboration with Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, is titled “Toward Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation.” The MGI report is titled The Social Contract In The 21st Century: Outcomes So Far For Workers, Consumers, and Savers in Advanced Economies.


If you believe in the commonly used phrase “what gets measured gets managed”, or as Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Correspondent at the Financial Times put it, “what isn’t measured doesn’t matter”, coming up with ways to measure sustainable value creation is surely important. And, we should certainly be concerned about the quality of the social contract between our institutions (business, government and others) and society, it determines our standard of living — our opportunity to prosper, flourish and live well. And how sustainable these opportunities are.

The WEF consultation report stems from the concerns of 140 CEOs, members of its International Business Council (WEF-IBC). It issued a “Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership” in 2017 which states, “society is best served by corporations that have aligned their goals to the long‑term goals of society.” And “it identifies the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the roadmap for that alignment”.


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