An interview with Oxford professor Colin Mayer.
The Future of the Corporation program set out to ask the question: “What is the role of business in society?”
Led by Professor Colin Mayer of Saïd Business School, Oxford University, and run out of the British Academy, it published its final report in October 2021. Described by the Financial Times as one of the most ambitious programs to reform capitalism for the 21st century, it had commissioned 17 academic papers, held 29 round tables and drawn on hundreds of experts in business, policymaking and civil society internationally over the four years since it began in 2017.
Entitled “Policy and Practice for Purposeful Business,” the final report argues that “business can and does do more than maximize returns for shareholders.” It concludes that the role of business is: “to create profitable solutions for the problems of people and planet, while not profiting from creating problems for either.”
Brunswick Senior Partner Lucy Parker was a member of the Advisory Group of the Future of the Corporation program and interviewed Professor Mayer when the report was published, inviting him to reflect on the lessons for business leaders from this extensive program.