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Spark Event – The New Economy

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Prior to 2020, the world was moving at breakneck speed. The question was often asked, “How much faster can we go?” It felt like people, business and the world were rushing around at an incredible pace …. and for what purpose?

To increase profits? To generate more personal wealth? To get more resources out of the earth to create more industries?

LGIT hosted its second SPARK event during the COVID-19 lock-down to discuss what the New Economy could look like and how businesses are shifting its consciousness.

The LGIT SPARK events are thought leadership together on how the world is evolving and to understand what is needed for businesses, people and communities to adapt to these changes.

COVID-19 has demonstrated that our existing system is not working. People are losing their jobs, their businesses, their livelihoods, their hope and their loved ones. What it has also demonstrated is that the private sector has a much bigger role to play in solving societal problems. It is more prevalent than ever that business and society are inextricably linked, and business cannot survive without a healthy society, which has become evident this during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof Michael Porter and Mark Kramer have been advocating for more than a decade that business and society are inextricably linked, and business cannot survive without a healthy society and we have witnessed this during the COVID19 pandemic.

On 16 July 2020, LGIT hosted the second SPARK event on “The New Economy – Shifting Business Consciousness”. Participants to this online webinar heard very interesting perspectives shared by three expert guest speakers.

The first speaker, Gaylin Jee, Founder and CEO of 33 Emeralds, spoke about “Playing the Infinite Game - where are we as leaders of the future?”. Gaylin encouraged leaders to reflect on their own leadership traits and skills and to assess whether they are working and leading from "below the line" (fear, anger, self-assertion), or "above the line" (exploration, cooperation, power within, generativity). This translates in the way they lead their businesses and influences the values, purpose and mission of the business. In order for businesses to move into a generative future, leaders need to lead above the line.

Tiekie Barnard, Founder and CEO of Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI), explained the Shared Value Business Management concept as the way for business to create economic value coupled with value for society, where companies can address societal issues through its core business and create a competitive edge. She emphasised that businesses need to go beyond traditional corporate social responsibility and incorporate its values on “doing business and doing good” in its business operations and culture.

To demonstrate shared value in practice, Carla Hudson, Project Manager of the Mine Water Coordinating Body (MWCB) shared a case study on how South Africa’s largest mining companies collaborate with each other, with government and with communities in order to create a ‘circular economy’ in the coal mining region of Emahlaleni, Mpumalanga. Some of the large mines will reach its end of life and the challenge is to sustain the local economy and communities after mine closure, in a responsible manner. The MWCB is working at various levels to provide input into policies to reform legislation on mine closure, implementing various innovative projects that recycles and repurposes mine waste and assets as well as re-skilling mine workers and communities to ensure that a ‘second economy’ is generated that will ensure continued growth and employment in the region.

As the host of the SPARK event, Natascha Prussen, Founder of LGIT Smart Solutions, confirmed its company’s purpose to uplift businesses, people and communities to shine, through adaptive learning solutions. Since 2002, LGIT has been working with the Siyakhula Computer School, to deliver ICT Training programme in various townships across South Africa. Together they train over 1,500 people per annum, equipping them with basic ICT skills which enables them to seek employment.

In this current VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world, there has been no better time for business to reflect and redefine its role in society.

LGIT looks forward to bringing more vibrant and thought leadership topics and discussions to the SPARK events in 2021. If you are interested in hearing about a particular topic, please feel free to send us your suggestions or connect with us.

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