Changing the Way We Do Business in 2014 – In pursuit of Blended Value
The global economic system is not working for over 90% of us. As it now stands, almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income whilst the richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty and around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted.
At the same time, in 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption, while the poorest fifth just 1.5%. The poorest 10% accounted for just 0.5% and the wealthiest 10% accounted for 59% of all the consumption.
Another startling and compelling statistic is that the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 most Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
In 2014 the burgeoning inequities persist. In a United Nations Development Programme report issued on 29th January 2014 titled “Humanity Divided: Confronting Inequality in Developing Countries”. It warns that “the world’s population lives in societies that are more unequal today than 20 years ago,” where despite impressive technological advancements, 1.2 billion people still live in poverty.
It says that income inequality increased by 11 percent in developing countries between 1990 and 2010. More than three-quarters of households in developing countries are living today in societies where income is more unequally distributed than it was in the 1990s.
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark notes that overall, the wealthiest eight percent of the world’s population earns half of the world’s total income, while the remaining 92 percent must fend for themselves with whatever is left.
Instead of being immobilized by feelings of impotence and inevitability we must have the courage to ask ourselves, how did we get here? There has to be a problem where across the globe people are dying from starvation and preventable diseases when there is sufficient food and medicine to prevent this. The reason for the persistence of these problems lies less in the popularly touted unproductivity or delinquency of the victims but more in the man-made rules which underpin our economic system which preclude access to food and resources.
The time has come for academics, policymakers, researchers, business analysts, lawyers and development specialists to redefine the rules of the game so as to create a fair and socially just playing field for all nations of the world to operate. The epistemological recycling of principles perpetuating global social and economic inequity and injustice must change if we are to meet the millennium development goals.
As an institution serving the educational needs of procurement professionals and policymakers primarily in the developing world, it is now incumbent upon us to interrogate the norms and principles which underpin “good” and “best” procurement practice so-called. The persistent linkage between procurement and development compels us so to do.
In 2013 we at CPI recognized that new curricula interrogating the much touted positive linkage between perceived procurement good practice and social, environmental and industrial growth and development was not only necessary but arguably the most important driver to facilitate change.
This transformation is a natural progression for our organisation. We have always intentionly pursued social goals alongside the traditional bottom line considerations as is manifested in our sponsoring of the non-profit organisation Caribbean Association of Procurement Professionals (CAPP) which aims to serve the needs of regional procurement professionals. Now we are formally changing our business model in 2014 from a profit driven enterprise pursuing a purpose to a purpose driven social enterprise. Put another way, we are in pursuit of blended value as a measure of the success of our organization i.e. we measure both social and financial returns. Our new mission is
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“to help you co-create a just, equitable and sustainable world with your procurement spend.”
Knowledge is power and as educators seeking to catalyze a more strategic use of the power of procurement to meet the challenges of both the developed and developing world in the 21st century, the responsibility is ours to provide thought leadership.
As we interrogate the norms which have gotten us as a global society to where we are today, we must spend time deepening our understanding of humanity and how this is reflected in the global economic system we have created and that which we are trying to create.
For the above reasons, we at CPI wish to take this opportunity to inform you our stakeholders that we have taken the very radical decision in 2014 to change course and proactively to develop new curricula for both the undergraduate and post graduate levels, undertake further research and support entities through our Social Impact Programmes (SIPs) and Socially Responsible Procurement Programmes (SRPP) in both the public and private sectors which are willing to harness their procurement power in order to be a part of the solution to our global problems.
We look forward to you participating later this year (November 2014) in our Caribbean Public Procurement Conference (CPPC) 2014 which has as its theme ‘Powering Social Innovation’ where we will be sharing the latest most innovative ways to use your procurement function to pursue social goals and also where you will be given an unprecedented opportunity to participate in being part of the solution to some of our problems.
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Change is upon us and we need all hands on deck. We remain committed to being of service to you and your organization in making more strategic use of your procurement spend i.e. in a manner in which you are directly contributing to the eradication of societal ills. We are currently providing opportunities for young graduates of business, law, economics, finance and development studies desirous of joining in this research and our social innovation projects to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Statistics from http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats#src3