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Corporation 20/20 - Designing for Social Purpose
Corporation 20/20 acts as: A forum of leading thinkers, practitioners, and activists. Creating the vision and charting the  course for the Future Corporation.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Finance and Inequality: Linkages and Corrective Policy Measures
John Balder
Adjunct Professor, International Business School, Brandeis University. Former portfolio strategist, GMO, SSgA and SSRM); economist and financial advisor, U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the House Banking Committee

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
We the Owners
Mary Ann Beyster
Executive Producer, We the Owners. President, Foundation for Enterprise Development

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Sustainability Context: Accountability Beyond Incrementalism
Mark McElroy
Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Organizations. Lead author, Corporate Sustainability Management - The Art and Science of Managing Non-Financial Performance

Monday, January 28, 2013
The Shareholder Value Myth
Lynn Stout
Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Business Law, Clarke Business Law Institute, Cornell Law School; author, The Shareholder Value Myth


The Corporation 20/20 Fall 2010 lunch seminar series marked the fifth anniversary of the release of the Corporation 20/20 six Principles of Corporate Design.

Below are the brief descriptions of the first three seminars which took place at the Tellus Institute in Boston.

As background reading for the entire seminar series, we draw your attention to a new Great Transition Initiative Perspectives article that explores the concept of a World Corporate Charter Organization (WCCO), "When the World Rules Corporations: Pathway to a Global Corporate Charter."


Thursday, September 23.

What is the “proper” purpose of the corporation? A transnational comparison

Roy Shapira, Doctoral Student, Harvard Law School and Lecturer, Department of Economics, Harvard University. Former Associate at an Israeli law firm specializing in corporate litigation; Lecturer, Property Law at the Interdisciplinary Center (Israel)

Summary: Corporation 20/20 Principle 1 defines the purpose of the corporation as harnessing private interests to serve the public interest. The question of corporate purpose is seldom asked yet lies at the heart of societal expectations, contemporary corporate conduct, and prospects for innovative corporate designs in the coming decades. New research reveals different answers across countries and over time. Each definition affects the scope of managerial fiduciary duties, regulating takeovers, mandating employee representation, disclosure requirements, and the requirements and revocation mechanisms for granting incorporation charters. The common wisdom that used to divide the world into the Anglo-Saxon shareholder-oriented approach and the Continental Europe stakeholder-oriented approach is overly simplistic and should not be accepted at face value. New developments in US state charter law open new possibilities for repurposing the corporation.


Wednesday, October 13

What is an accountable corporation in the 21st century?

Alan Willis, Advisor to Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), author of background papers for Canada's National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Task Force on Capital Markets and Sustainability, and co-author of a CICA report on the business and climate change (http://www.camagazine.com/archives/print-edition/2009/dec/features/camagazine31688.aspx); and Discussant James Post, John F. Smith Professor of Management, Boston University, Co-Author, Redefining the Corporation.

Summary: Corporation 20/20 Principle 5 calls for corporations to be governed in a manner that is participatory, transparent, ethical, and accountable. Accountability is a dynamic concept, evolving as societal expectations of business change in response to 21st century needs and expectations. It is manifested in governance, stakeholder relations, and the organization’s commitment to transparency and ethical conduct. In the coming years, to what norms of accountability should corporations be held, and what are the leading examples of organizations whose practices provide a glimpse of the frontier in corporate accountability?


Thursday, October 21

What is a “fair” return to investors?

Richard Rosen, Executive Vice-President and a founding director of Tellus Institute. His current research focuses on alternative economic visions and models for the global economy, including new approaches to capital markets, regulation, and design of the production unit. Recent papers on global futures and visions of regional economies are available, respectively, at the following sites: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/8/2626/pdf and www.gtinitiative.org/documents/PDFFINALS/4Economy.pdf

Summary: Corporation Principle 2 calls for “fair returns to shareholders, but not at the expense of the legitimate interests of other stakeholders.” Fair returns remains an elusive and controversial issue in light of concurrent wage stagnation and productivity gains across many business sectors. Challenges to the conventional wisdom of the corporation as a “nexus of contracts” have emerged in the form of the corporation as “team production entity” and/or “the nexus of relationships among workers and other stakeholders.” How should fair returns be defined, measured, and implemented to build just and sustainable enterprises and societies?

Corporations in a Great Transition


October 31 - November 1, 2013 Roundtable event Summary of Proceedings


Video Interview with Allen White at Yale Univ.


Corporation 20/20 director Allen White interviewed by Pavan Sukhdev regarding the Future Corporation.

Redesigning Finance: Pathway To A Resilient Future

Redesigning Finance

August 9, 2012 San Francisco workshop reading materials

2nd Summit Resources


A collection of 8 papers exploring key components of corporate design


1st Summit Resources


A one hour video summary of the Summit on the Future of the Corporation.


A collection of 10 papers exploring key components of corporate design