As the Davos Forum comes to an end, and after days of sharing, discussing and listening, I can’t help but feel disappointed and frustrated.

Why?

I arrived in Davos full of hope that new ideas would be heard, debated and welcomed. Unfortunately I can’t help feeling that no lessons were really learned from the recent crisis and that overall, Governments are fixated on macro-economic issues and on the next elections, while the corporate sector is in general looking at the next financial report and very much infused with their self-importance. Were the calls for transformation and for “Shaping New Models” forgotten? Are the desires of the general public for a more just, fair and inclusive development yet again overlooked?

There were for example many talks about “Shared Value” as one possible way forward and I did present and defend some principles of “Sharing” as this should in my mind be a multi-stakeholder partnership; but eventually I realized that no one was really ready for that…

How should we move ahead now? I think that time has come to show, promote and support new models and if we can build proof of concepts and show tangible results, then new approaches will be accepted and integrated by the wider business and political worlds.

There are some really important, interesting and successful models out there, both among social entrepreneurs and among companies, but we need to build a solid case. We need to define common measurements that will clearly show that financial profit can (and must) go hand in hand with social profit and that it is a valid and logical way forward for everyone. We then need to present it in a very compelling way at the next World Economic Forum in Davos and further afield.

We have very little time to build these measurements, but many of us have started working on this and we can harmonize our work and build solid results. We then need support from partners interested in building that case to support us on the way and finally we need the support of the World Economic Forum to have the platform to present these findings.

Only through this process will we be able to have an influence and have serious discussions that will allow us to “Shape New Models”. We are at the beginning of a crucial journey and only have a very short time to build our case.

Significant change, however, takes time, and that, unfortunately, is the commodity that is in short supply.

The clock is ticking….

 

 

Editors Note
Sebastien Marot, Executive Director, Friends-International, Cambodia; Regional Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Asia, 2009