Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative

Global Responsibility – Issue 9 – September 2013


The work of developing a next generation of globally responsible leadership is a rollercoaster ride combining slow painful grinding uphill work with moments of deep exhilaration as we pick up speed and swoop down into valleys of progress. The past few months have exemplified both aspects of the journey.

The painful grind is visible in the singularly unimpressive picture painted by the latest UN Global Compact Accenture CEO study released to the world as this edition of Global Responsibility goes to press. The image that springs to mind from this excellent piece of work is of the world’s major companies collectively performing like a grand fleet of dismasted, rudderless sailing ships in an ocean storm being swept inexorably onto the rocks.

Like the captains of those sailing ships, they know they are in a storm, they know about the rocks but lack the fundamental equipment to avoid inevitable disaster. Fortunately, down in the  lower decks their is an explosion of creative innovation which has the potential to enable the fleet to ride out the storm.

This innovation comes from the most surprising places. The most exciting example is the global movement to make ecocide a crime against peace. Polly Higgins is the face of this innovation and following her brilliant contribution to the GRLI’s Paris General Assembly she writes on this subject in Global Responsibility.

If the masters and commanders of the global business fleet mobilise to see Polly’s vision become a reality, they will have succeeded in moving the  corporate fleet into a safe harbour. Now that is the kind of visionary action which could transform our entire future in a space of less than 5 years. And perhaps set a course for the calm seas of sustainability for generations ahead to enjoy.

Global Responsibility - Issue 9

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