“If something has been done that way for centuries it needs a looming disaster to allow any change from the status quo. …But society is not working as it should… too many of the customs, practices and institutions of society were designed for a time that has passed.”
Powerful thoughts in the opening of Irish philosopher Charles Handy’s “The Second Curve.”
Handy sets society the challenge about thinking how it can be shaped more successfully for the future, while still addressing the challenges of today. How do we act well before there are any looming disasters? How do we move to the second curve?
Challenging the status quo
This challenge inspired the creation of The Second Curve network. The network includes chairpersons and CEOs of major PLCs, and other significant employers and institutions, leaders of major Foundations, and senior influencers in social impact and responsible business.
Current social mobility, poverty, and equality data underpin Handy’s assertion that “society is not working as it should”. We need new thinking and new solutions. There are countless examples where inspiring work is being implemented in London to create new solutions. Organisations such as The Bromley by Bow Centre, which has a focus on community building for the world today, and Making the Leap, the innovating force behind the Social Mobility Awards, may have some of the answers. Galvanising more connected and sustained business collaboration with similar organisations is crucial.
Every business is made up of people. People who live in communities. People who want to shape the world they want to live in. But there is a “trust gap” that has opened up around business and wider society. Somewhere, somehow, the human connection is being lost. This is happening despite an incredible amount of engagement by business with grassroots organisations like those above, and national movements such as OnSide Youth Zones, Business in The Community, The School for Social Entrepreneurs and The Social Mobility Pledge.
So this is where The Second Curve network comes in to play. The network’s mission is to foster collaborative action to support business to become embedded in sustainable positive societal change. There is recognition that business does not have all the answers but has significant resources and experience to contribute effectively.
The network’s principles include being action oriented, and outcome driven. It drives collaborative projects, meaning there’s no need for more siloed initiatives, and all work is done for the common good and enabling action, rather than owning it.
So far the network has business, third sector, and sports organisations, amongst others, getting behind it, and connecting to address societal issues such as social mobility, reducing violent crime, and new ideas for sustainable change.
If you can relate to this, and think your business could make a difference to society, then why not join in? If you are interested in getting involved please reach out to Barry Murphy or Chris Reeve, PwC Partners, at: