The Radical Old IdeaResponsible Business in a Time of Crisis

Tuesday 23rd June 2020, 14:30 – 16:00
Zoom meeting (register here)

We are delighted to launch the Global Ethical Finance Initiative’s inaugural Radical Old Idea event in partnership with the David Hume Institute and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

The Radical Old Idea is a discussion platform inspired by the historic Scottish enlightenment that seeks to inform a new financial paradigm. The periodic gathering of business and financial services stakeholders will explore innovative (radical) ideas that deliver positive financial and economic outcomes for the benefit of society.

This session forms part of our “Path to COP26” integrated year-long campaign.


Tuesday 23rd June 2020


14:30 – 16:00

Event Introduction

Professor Alex Edmans of London Business School will discuss how to be a responsible business in a time of crisis in a session chaired by Eva Cairns, ESG Investment Analyst – Climate Change at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen some inspired corporate responses, such as Unilever donating €100 million of food and sanitizer, and guaranteeing the jobs of all 150,000 workers including contractors. But what if you’re a small business without millions to donate? Or in an unrelated industry without relevant products to give? This talk will discuss what it means to be a responsible business, for companies of all sizes and in all industries. It will also explain the business case for responsibility in normal times as well as crisis times, and how companies can ensure that responsibility is consistent with long-term shareholder value.  Alex will draw on rigorous academic research, real-world examples, and his new book, “Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit”.


Alex Edmans – Professor of Finance at London Business School and Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance.


What is a responsible business? Traditional thinking is that it’s one that sacrifices profit for social outcomes. But while it’s crucial for companies to serve society, they also have a duty to generate profit for investors – savers, retirees and pension funds. Based on the highest-quality evidence and real-life examples spanning industries and countries, Alex will practically show that it’s not an either-or choice – companies can create both profit and social value.