The 2013 Zermatt Summit explored how businesses and NGOs can form strong partnerships to address the problems of rapid globalization: a widening wealth gap, economic volatility, the displacement of jobs by technology and automation, opaque supply chains, and climate change, to name just a few.
NGOs have been increasingly active and vocal in urging decision-makers to take action, spurred by public concern about the negative impact of financial markets and transnational corporations on ordinary people’s lives. Businesses, on the other hand, advocate for business-friendly regulations that ensure they can continue to grow in a highly competitive, globalized economy.
Can the private sector and civil society go beyond that narrow view of competing interests to embrace collaboration? This was the question at the center of the 2013 summit. Participants discovered many examples of successful public-private partnerships from around the world, underlining the need for a broader, more strategically oriented, balanced and, hopefully, ever more productive dialogue between corporate and civil society organizations.