20 YEARS OF
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The recent US Business Roundtable commitment to "all stakeholders" changed a long-held focus of corporate purpose being solely to generate profits for investors. This appears to align with investors’ growing recognition of the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in making decisions about how to allocate financial investment. But is existing corporate governance fit for this purpose? Is acknowledging the limits of the narrow pursuit of profits enough to address the harms caused by corporations on society and the environment? Or without fundamental governance reform, is it merely 'purpose-washing'? This blog series from Open Society Fellows critiques today's governance models, and offers alternative ideas about the nature and role of shareholders for a new definition of corporate purpose.