“This is an opportunity for us to focus on both how business and government play a role in building a more resilient economic system for the next crisis.”
By Adele Peters | March 30, 2020
As the coronavirus crisis and the ensuing economic fallout grows, many companies shifted their policies—in some cases, giving low-wage hourly and gig workers temporary access to paid sick leave for the first time. But when the crisis is over, will the companies that survive make more lasting changes?
Andrew Kassoy, cofounder of B Lab, an organization that certifies companies that focus on social good as B Corporations (B Corps for short), argues that the pandemic might accelerate shifts that were already underway. “I think there is already a new consensus that has formed over the last couple of years that we were moving from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism,” he says, pointing to examples such as a 2019 letter signed by CEOs in the Business Roundtable that signaled a new commitment, at least in words, to more social responsibility.
“I think that message has already been heard loud and clear in the culture,” he says. “And I think this crisis creates an opportunity because it makes it clear that we haven’t built a resilient economic system. This is an opportunity for us to focus on both how business and government play a role in building a more resilient economic system for the next crisis, and there’ll be more of these.”