A health emergency such as the one we are experiencing will surely leave us with a different world from the one we know, which will strip away what is accessory (as crises usually do) and offer us an environment with new opportunities to innovate, improve and work to impact society in a positive way. Uncertainty reigns, but I have no doubt that companies are the agents best prepared to face change, assume leadership and provide solutions to social challenge,- which are not-and will not be-few.
At SERES, we have seen how companies have taken a step forward in this global crisis of Covid-19. Fast, fierce and with an impact on the entire global village and especially on our country of Spain, one of the red zones in Europe. We have seen how this movement of shared value between society and business, which we have been defending together for over a decade, is becoming more necessary and crucial than ever.
The social challenges we reflected on a few weeks ago are still there, perhaps now more intertwined and complex: human rights, inequality and poverty, AI, diversity and inclusion… However, achieving joint economic and social progress depends largely on responsible leaders- those who are committed, who seek the common good and who believe in partnership, in the power of the group.
At SERES, we often talk about the construction of more human companies, in which the weight of the intangible determines its sustainability over time and its favorability among consumers and investors. But above all that, in the middle of the 4th industrial revolution, we talk about companies that do not leave anyone behind. #SERESResponsables, an initiative promoted by SERES after the Covid-19 crisis, supports companies and NGOs in their response to the emergency, showing projects that are underway contributing to solving specific problems, as well as detecting new needs. SERES, as a transformative movement of companies, understands this moment as the opportunity for real collaboration, to implement new work processes, greater efficiency and sustainability in the results. Although it is not an easy task, many of them are already working to ensure the development of creativity, collaboration and interpersonal dynamics, as well as skills related to specialized sales, human resources, care and education roles. In short, to create opportunities for people’s future.
“Happy posterity, who will not experience such an abysmal tribulation and will contemplate our testimony as a fable”, wrote Petrarch to a friend in a Florence in whose streets there was panic about the Black Death that appeared in Europe in 1346. In just seven years, nearly 50 million people died in the Old Continent, 30% of its population. But Petrarch was wrong. Other epidemics would return in later centuries with emergency measures, social habits and changes in the world order. Thanks to the compass of responsible leaders and the fixed goals set forth in Agenda 2030, it will be possible to respond to the challenges with society and business sitting together at the table to create and share value, always with people in mind.