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What Will Happen When Business Will Meet Society In 2019?


As per the predictions of experts, 2019 seems to be a year of changing corporate landscape inculcating “a powerful sense of possibility”.

Dailycsr.com – 28 January 2019 – The “Business & Society Program” predicts the future in 2019 when business meets society, whereby it realised that the best answers will come from its network consisting of “business leaders and academics”. The predictions cover a wide spectrum and impart “a powerful sense of possibility” even though some of the areas deal with the “toughest challenges” the world might face this year, including AI, “lifelong learning” and “worker voice”. We cover some of the predictions and the experts’ opinion on them.
Artificial Intelligence
The field of AI tops the list which is likely to enter into workplace to make its presence felt, will AI’s “most intriguing moves” will not be seen by the consumers as it won’t appear in the form of “Alexas and Google Assistants”, whereas this year holds the possibility of driving “greater productivity in industrial processes” through AI. Glancing over the last year’s AI performance, aspeninstitute.org reported:
“In 2018, the American Medical Association formally recognized augmented intelligence’s ability to assist doctors in improving health care diagnoses. In 2019, augmented intelligence systems will become more transparent”.
Business Institutions
The prediction states that the business institutions will embrace their core values to “find inspiration” and their success makes them ideal training schools for the global “free markets, open societies, and global integration”. However, at present, “populism and resurgent economic nationalism” seem to have kept these pillars under siege. Therefore, there are expectations that these institutes will conduct curricula to prepare the future generation to drive “sustainable” and “inclusive” growth. And turning to core aims and purposes will be the key to “save the world”, thinks the Yale School of Management’s deputy dean for “Academic Programs & Professor in the Practice of Management”, David Bach.
Missing Circular Infrastructure
In the words of the executive portfolio director of IDEO London, Chris Grantham:
“Missing infrastructure is holding back the ability of companies to participate in the circular economy and scale new circular products and services. In 2019 we will start to see innovations lower those barriers.  Imagine, for example, a Circular Operating System for Fashion—a series of shared or cross-value chain platforms and infrastructure that create economies of scale and enable the proliferation of circular products and services. In this system, connected garments and multi-brand digital wardrobe platforms could link the customer to an ecosystem of circular products and services, better enabling tracking of materials so that they can be reused”.
Widening Stakeholders’ Range
According to the associate director at “Aspen Institute Business & Society Program”, Eli Malinsky is of the opinion that the business boards will seek out a “wider range of stakeholders” which will essentially turn into a norm, while the time for dedicating major attention towards “shareholder returns” has come to an end. In Malinsky’s words:
“Smart and effective boards will quickly bring themselves up to speed and round out their own ranks by bringing new perspectives into their discussion. Those that don’t will be left with a lot of clean-up”.
Changing Views On Silicon Valley
Commenting with the “perceptions of Silicon Valley” that are being built over the period of past two years, Professor Jerry Davis from Michigan Ross School of Business stated:
“2019 will be the year when investors finally band together to demand an end to these authoritarian systems and seek accountability from our silicon overlords”.
Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion
This year, the corporate sector will turn its focus more intensely on implementing “diversity and inclusion” through innovative ways. This shift proves to be a big one that reaches beyond “programming solutions” to look at issue rooted deeper into company culture. The “National Managing Principal of Inclusion” at Deloitte, Deepa Purushothaman said:
“One major area to watch is the growing discussion around how leadership needs to evolve and ‘look different’ as a way to increase diversity and get new faces at the table. To meet these needs, D&I roles will increase in importance and visibility at organizations and those companies who don’t have the role will move to create it”.
Corporate leadership on Social Issues
With environment, inclusion, diversity and human rights taking the front seat in public sector, some corporate leaders as well as businesses have also joined in the movement. While, Professor Mary Gentile, the “University of Virginia Darden School of Business”, who is also the “Creator/Director of Giving Voice to Values”, added:
“Everyone’s contribution matters here. Employees need to develop the skills and comfort and the ‘Moral Muscle Memory’ to ACT on values conflicts themselves, hopefully before they become legal or regulatory violations. Voicing and enacting values requires a leader/manager who has the skill and comfort level with change to actually listen and hear what is being raised”.
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