4 min read
Jan 2024

Going Beyond Business as Usual


On May 13 and 14, 2016, global leaders converged at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford to discuss how some of the world’s largest and most significant firms are striving to implement responsible business practices and what factors makes for their success and failure in this endeavor. Broken up into three main panels, the Forum focused on actionable examples from companies including Unilever, Mahindra, Danone and Mars.

The concept of responsible business expresses the desire for firms to succeed by maximizing human, social, natural, and financial capital to ultimately benefit the consumer and drive business in a more mutual manner: ‘doing well and doing good, at scale’. While such a concept is self-evidently desirable, businesses face many challenges in enacting responsible values and practices. Indeed, it is no easy task to do so and it requires businesses to extend their thinking beyond ‘business as usual.’

Part of going beyond business as usual requires business leaders, like those that gathered at Saïd Business School in May, to share their best practices and learning. A number of important themes emerged over the two days of presentation and dialogue, such as the significance of an ecosystem approach, the importance of organizational structure, and the challenge of impact measurement and management. These themes and others are expanded below.


Session Recordings




  • Emmanuel Faber, CEO, Danone

  • Jean-Christophe Flatin, President, Global Chocolate, Mars, Incorporated

  • Pascal De Petrini, EVP, Strategic Resource Cycles, Danone

  • Martin Radvan, President, the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated

  • Bertrand Badré, former Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, The World Bank Group; Visiting Fellow, the Peterson Institute for International Economics

  • Goh Kok Huat, Chief Operating Officer and President of Real Estate, GIC Private Limited

  • Alex van der Velden, Partner and CIO, Ownership Capital

  • Aart de Geus, President and CEO, Bertelsmann Foundation

  • Daniel Hurstel, Senior Corporate Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher

  • Simon Walker, Director, Institute of Directors

  • Dr Arleen Westerhof, Coordinator of the European Economic Summit

  • Professor Avishay Braverman, Economist, Social Leader

  • Frank Akers, Oakridge Strategy Group

  • Navi Radjou, Author and Leadership Advisor