The Economic Summit was established in 2014 under the name “European Economic Summit”. Our aim is to promote new paradigms on finance and economy based on Christian tradition, faith and thought, and transformational businesses generating four-fold capital (human, social, natural and financial) as new models for poverty alleviation and sustainable economies. Ever since our first meeting in 2014, the concept of the Economics of Mutuality has played an important role in Economic Summit meetings.
Mutuality is the sharing of a feeling, action or relationship between two or more parties. In the business context mutuality means the sharing of the benefits of doing business between multiple stakeholders: people, the community in which the business operates and the environment in addition to the shareholders of a company.
The origins of the Economics of Mutuality
The Economics of Mutuality (EoM) is a concept based on the principle of the Jubilee (Lev. 25 in the Bible). Almost all economic systems throughout the ages have been based on three things: the land that provides the resources and raw materials from which goods can be made, the people who transform these resources into goods and services that can be sold and the financial capital (money) that provides liquidity. Both EoM and the Jubilee concept advocate remunerating people, communities, land and capital in management practice in a holistic and integrated fashion.
In the business context, mutuality is an idea that has had a high priority within Mars Inc. – the family-owned food and beverage company – for decades. In 2007 the CEO of Mars started to question whether there was a better way to provide a mutuality of benefits for their stakeholders. He commissioned the Mars Catalyst Think Tank led by Bruno Roche and Jay Jakub to investigate this question. Their key challenge was to show that there were innovative business model approaches that could drive both social and environmental performance while delivering strong financial performance.
The appeal of EoM for entrepreneurs
The Economics of Mutuality leverages the principle of mutuality in business as a driver of value creation. It is a new multiple capital business model that simultaneously promotes sustainable, profitable business and wider benefits in the form of human, social and environmental well-being. It leverages the power of capitalism, encouraging the concentration of the different forms of capital in the hands of multiple stakeholders. As such, it has the potential to adapt better to the disruptive business climates that many entrepreneurs find themselves in than the Financial Capitalism model pioneered by Milton Friedman. Financial Capitalism focusses on only one form of capital – profit – to the exclusion of all of the others. The sharing aspect of the Economics of Mutuality makes it particularly appealing to a new kind of entrepreneur that has the talent and sense of broader purpose to bring prosperity to the many rather than just the few.
A new name and an expanded mandate
In September 2017 we co-hosted an Economic Summit meeting together with the organisation, Unashamedly Ethical, in Cape Town. Since then, we have been invited to organise Economic Summit meetings in other nations in Africa and in other continents. It has become clear that the Economic Summit is no longer only European. In January 2018 we changed our name to “Economic Summit”. Under this new name, our aim will still be to promote value-based paradigms on finance and economics based on Christian tradition, faith and thought, and businesses generating four-fold capital as new models for sustainable economies. Sustainable economies do not exist in isolation however, but have everything to do with the spiritual, social and political structures in which they are embedded. This means that we will be broadening our focus in the future to include issues that promote sustainable development. These factors can differ per region.
Additional Characteristics of the Economic Summit are;
We are prophetic
We will continue to be forward-looking concentrating on where we feel that things are going and not just on where they currently are.
We are holistic in approach
We want to see positive change come in the lives of individuals, people groups, institutions and the planet.
We will continue to be “by invitation only”
We have a mandate to convene, inform and inspire decision makers in addition to providing them with the tools to help them effect change in the areas that they are called to.
We are relational
We value interfacing with our partners and spending time building relationships that will last and serve the Kingdom!