My book, Welcome to GoodCo is now available in a second, paperback, edition. It looks at how the tools of business can be, and increasingly are being, used to create public benefit. Witness…
- The growth of social enterprise, where imitation is a form of flattery
- Trends towards ‘responsible’, ‘social’ and ‘impact’ investment
- The ‘arms race’ between supermarkets on community engagement.
All this is happening at a time when services provided by government and the voluntary sector are being squeezed as demand on them is growing. Many in business now recognise the obligation to engage constructively with communities and the environment but too many, especially in the 99% of businesses that are SMEs, which employ half the private sector workforce, do not. There are worrying counter-trends, too – as asset owners become increasingly out of touch with how their investments are used, fortunes are made and lost by the second and injustices in pay gaps and in the world of high finance get ever worse.
The book’s second edition, in paperback, came out in September 2015.
40 of the world’s 100 biggest economies are corporates, not countries; if they are not part of global solutions to climate change, poverty, hunger and resource depletion then they are part of the problem. The book analyses the ‘Good Guys’ who ‘get it’ when it comes to using the power of business to nurture communities, the planet and the future.
In the book I also look at the politics of ‘responsible capitalism’, the history of market regulation and ethical investment and the life story of Frances Perkins*; I highlight threats and opportunities for progress and I support Al Gore’s view that unless we define sustainability more widely and commit to change more urgently then all – not least the planet – may yet be lost. I really enjoyed writing the book and I think that comes across!
Please comment on Twitter using #welcometogoodco
* You’ll have to read the book to find out who Frances Perkins was!
Talking about ‘Welcome to GoodCo’:
My April 2014 article on RSA Comment page
My May 2014 piece for the Gower Authors blog
Stephen Timms MP reviews it for the House magazine
Seema Malhotra MP reviews it for Progress
John Tizard’s review in Huffington Post
David Brindle of the Guardian reviews Welcome to GoodCo, July 2014
Matt Sparkes, Global Head of CSR at Linklaters, writes in the November 2014 newsletter of the ICRS, the Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability:
“Not many responsibility authors are able to write first hand as teacher, charity trustee, Labour MP and consultant and Tom Levitt’s new book ‘Welcome to GoodCo’ is all the better for it. Levitt’s diverse experience means this book reads as credibly when exploring political machinations as it does when considering how business acts for good (though Levitt’s one CV gap is as employee of a private company!). Significantly, CR is barely mentioned until three quarters of the way in and before you get there you’ll pass one of the clearest analyses of the recent crisis I’ve come across. The book is an easy read but still poses difficult questions; some downbeat messages are countered by the upbeat tone. So, buy this for a more nuanced view on how business makes a difference and you won’t be disappointed.”
My launch speech is on the Blog page…