Peace Through Commerce®
A Global Imperative
to Catalyze Multi-Sector Collaboration
Peace is good for business, and business is good for peace. This simple fact, supported by extensive empirical research, may hold the key to creating widespread, sustainable peace.
Economic opportunity and prosperity are powerful forces for promoting peace. GDP per capita and peace are highly correlated, as are economic freedom and GDP per capita. Increased economic freedom enhances the climate for business, leading to opportunities for local entrepreneurs, higher rates of job creation, and greater prosperity.
Secure property rights, low unemployment, and steadily increasing GDP per capita leads to a greater probability of peace and stability – 90% of war fatalities in the past twenty years have occurred in civil wars. And while poverty and unemployment do not cause violence directly, hopeless poverty, exclusion, and extended unemployment provide recruiting grounds for terrorists and other entrepreneurs of hate.
Research compiled and conducted by the Global Peace Index affirms the complementary premise that peace is good for business, thus promoting a virtuous cycle of investment and enterprise advancing peace, and peace advancing investment and enterprise.
Representatives from Academia, Civil Society, and Public Policy Think Tanks will convene with business and political leaders at George Washington University 13 – 15 November 2008, for a Peace Through Commerce conference, designed to illuminate and celebrate the powerful role ethical commerce plays in promoting peace, and to expand an emerging multi-sector alliance to advance the understanding and cultivation of Peace Through Commerce.
The Peace Through Commerce conference will include dynamic speakers, provocative panels, and opportunities to explore collaboration. The conference will elucidate the opportunities for stakeholders in all sectors to benefit by embracing the concept of peace through commerce and participating in the ongoing Peace Through Commerce campaign.
Peace Through Commerce Alliance collaborators will leverage and amplify their existing activities, establish their leadership position in this emerging field, benefit from the positive positioning, and from the synergies and leverage of collaboration.
Based in ethical conduct, fostering cross-cultural understanding and broad-based access to economic opportunity, with special emphasis on women and young people, Peace Through Commerce is a positive, generative, empirically validated idea, with compelling stories of success.
Academic papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of The Journal of Business Ethics. And the World Bank Institute will present a 4-month-long multi-media course on Peace Through Commerce derived from the conference proceedings.
When & Where
FLOW & ICR
The Institute for Corporate Responsibility was established at George Washington University in 2006 with a mission of fostering research, education, and outreach on the topic of corporate responsibility. ICR houses four overlapping program areas: Business, Integirty, & Peace, Environmental Sustainability, Corporate Governance, and Global Stakeholder Strategies. ICR is designed to allow for in-depth, focused research in each of these program areas as well as to address what the leadership of ICR believes to be the central issue confronting corporations today. That issue is the integration of various strands of corporate responsibility in order for corporations to be effective institutions accountable for the impact of their actions on shareholders, employees, customers, and other interested parties.
Founded by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, and educational entrepreneur Michael Strong, FLOW is a non-profit corporation dedicated to “liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good,” and focusing it on the goals of sustainable peace, prosperity, and happiness for all, in our lifetime. FLOW advances its mission through three ongoing initiatives: Conscious Capitalism®, Peace Through Commerce®, and Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs™. http://www.flowidealism.org