While plenty of criticism is leveled at contemporary business practices that focus on short-term, i.e. quarterly, profit, this way of doing business is a historical aberration. Charles Wookey, CEO of a new initiative called Blueprint for Better Business, argues that attention to the bottom line at the expense of social good began no more than thirty years ago, and that the present tendency to prioritize profit over people is "deeply warped."

"Blueprint for Better Business, which draws on learnings from faith traditions and philosophy and then shapes these into an actionable framework with leading UK multinationals, has come up with five principles of a purpose driven business."

For businesses that hope to remain relevant in the coming decades, preserving human dignity while serving a larger social purpose is essential. A fair return on investment will become an important benchmark while our struggling political institutions rely increasingly on business to solve problems beyond the scope of any single institution.

Just as the millennial generation prefers to set its own agenda, often choosing entrepreneurship over working for an established corporation, Wookey argues that we will soon rediscover the value of work, i.e. our jobs can provide our lives with personal fulfillment:

"We have a deep need for relationships with others, and there are common goods that only come into being through the commitments that people make to each other. Furthermore, we also yearn for meaning and fulfilment at work."

In his Big Think interview, Robert Menendez addresses what it means to be an ethical corporation in a globalized society:

Read more at the Guardian

Photo credit: Shutterstock