"Rebuilding sustainable economy and society begins with us"
"Be like water” (上善若水), Emmanuel Daniel, Founder of Wealth and Society, cites Laozi's poem in opening remarks at annual awards dinner.
There was a time when we thought capitalism was always right. We were told that the stock market was efficient. It rewards good businesses and punishes bad ones. But after the global financial crisis in 2008, those who had money made even more money. Those who did not have much lost the money they had.
Capitalism is not fair and transparent. It creates money but it does not create wealth. Capitalism is not a cure-all.
We need to rebuild battered economies in a sustainable manner amid the global pandemic. We have to redevelop society and create job opportunities. At the same time technology is destroying traditional price systems, it is also creating new business models.
The Wealth and Society programme is based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The programme is committed to assess the wealth and financial services industry according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. These goals are stated in our website and part of the evaluation process for the awards.
From the beginning, I have always believed that corporate philanthropy is no stranger to Chinese culture and history. It is not based on United Nations standards. In Chinese culture, public welfare and charity are based on the belief in a harmonious society where everyone is responsible for each other - a parent to a child, a child to a parent, the rich to the poor, and the poor to the rich.
Many of us represent our companies. We may even think we represent products. But the most important person we can represent tonight is ourselves. There is a saying from Laozi that goodness is like water (上善若水). Kindness is like water. Water nourishes everybody. Water nourishes every place where it flows. It creates life.
Isn’t that a better description of generosity and goodwill? Isn’t that a better standard for sustainable development? It does not start with my company. It does not start with our products. It starts with each of us.
Please visit Wealth and Society 2020 to view proceedings and speeches at the event.
Keywords: Philanthropy, Wealth, Sustainability, Esg
Region: East Asia