For the past century, the western world has been dominated by the economic concepts of GDP and Neoliberalism, but there is a growing body of evidence, research and expert opinion that they are not suitable for addressing the many challenges of the 21st century.

As a measure of national wealth, GDP is a crude tool that, as Bobby Kennedy once said, measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile. Neoliberalism – the dominant economic ideology of the past 40 years, characterised by policies such as austerity, privatisation, deregulation, free trade and small government, has supercharged inequality, rewarded rent-seeking behaviour and increased economic risk.

What new economic thinking can help us confront and conquer the challenges of the 21st century? How can we create a new economic system that helps us build a better world? Can we look beyond GDP and our obsession with endless growth? Does economics have to be a zero-sum game?

And what does it all mean for companies, locked in a perpetual cycle of quarterly returns, prioritised shareholder value, expectations of never-ending expansion and winner-take-all competition?

We were thrilled to have two of the world’s biggest thinkers on our stage who are challenging the prevailing wisdom and laying out a roadmap for change. They were joined by the Global Head of Sustainability from one of the companies leading the charge on circular economics.

How do we get from where we are, to where we need to be?

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Event for: Directors/ Heads of: Sustainability | CSR | Finance


  • Kate Raworth

    Economist and Author
  • Axel Threlfall

    Editor-at-Large, Reuters
  • Dr Jason Hickel

    Anthropologist and Author
  • Leon Wijnands

    Global Head of Sustainability, ING

Round Tables

  • Business Beyond Growth
    It is difficult for for-profit-business to look beyond the demands of growth, when locked in a perpetual cycle of quarterly returns, prioritised shareholder value, expectations of never-ending expansion and winner-take-all competition. Companies like Patagonia however, have benefited from explicitly de-prioritising growth. How can others think beyond the growth at all costs paradigm? Are new governance models needed? How can companies benefit from a broad stakeholder and societal return focus rather than returns to shareholders only? Can a renewed focus on the commons help frame a new business paradigm?
  • Ending the Take-Make-Waste Liner Paradigm
    The established linear business paradigm of “take-make-waste” has led us on a one-way path to an overheating world, toxic air pollution, plastic choked waterways, denuded topsoil, resource depletion, deforestation, biodiversity loss and an impeding 6th great extinction. It can’t continue, if we want a liveable future. And a liveable future is circular, closed loop, multi-dimensional and waste-free. How can companies make the transition from linear to circular? What are the first steps on the journey? What new business narratives can shift momentum?
  • Making Sustainability Non-negotiable
    Former CSO of IKEA, Steve Howard, famously espoused an “all-in” approach to sustainability and questioned the value of incremental action. But sustainability leaders often face the challenge of convincing sceptical boards and CEOs to be bolder and go further. There is a growing body of evidence to support the proposition that sustainable businesses outperform unsustainable ones. How can sustainability leaders escalate the issue to senior management, and make the case for going “all-in”? What is the best way to make sustainability a non-negotiable, core feature of business rather than an add-on or feel-good factor in a CSR report?
  • New Approaches To Corporate Giving In An Age Of Inequality
    Since 1960, the income gap between the North and South has roughly tripled in size. Today 4.3 billion people, 60% of the world's population, live on less than $5/day, and 1 billion live on less than $1/day. But the problem is not confined to North/South. Inequality in many western countries is also growing. The richest eight people now control the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world combined. Are charity and aid working? If not, why not? Are there new approaches to corporate giving that can help tackle inequality? Or are we just tinkering at the edges of a much bigger systemic failure?
  • Science Based Targets
    It is an enduring truism of business that you can’t manage, what you can’t measure. And you can’t hope to reduce your company’s waste outputs - from carbon emissions to packaging waste – without having strong targets to aim for, and a rigorous, science-based method for measurement. Science-based targets are a sound way of unifying the organisation and tracking progress. This roundtable will discuss how companies can apply science-based targets in their organisations.
  • Taking The Strategic Long View
    In the face of quarterly reporting pressures, and reactive business environments, it is easy for companies to fall into the trap of short-term thinking. But there is little doubt that this is a serious threat to the long-term security, value and performance of business. How can companies avoid this trap and take the strategic and operational long-view? How do sustainability leaders convince colleagues to think long-term and act accordingly? How do you balance long-term strategy with short-term needs? Must there be a disconnect between the two?
  • The Business Case For Circular Economics
    The macro-opportunities associated with implementing the circular economy are becoming increasingly clear, but what are the best business-case arguments for companies to adopt? The WBCSD has outlined eight drivers, including: generating new revenue, spurring new product and service innovation, reducing operating costs, engaging customers and employees, competitive differentiation, alignment with corporate strategy or mission, business model and value chain adaptation, and linear risk mitigation. This roundtable will weigh the relative benefits of each and share thoughts on a smart approach to each.
  • The Economics Of Low-Carbon Transitions
    In a world facing dangerous climate change and accelerating greenhouse effects, there are powerful environmental reasons for undertaking low-carbon business transitions. But what about the economic drivers? Over the past few years, renewable energy generation capacity and low-carbon technologies have passed a tipping point in scale and undergone substantial drops in price, making the bottom-line justification for them more compelling. This roundtable will explore the economic drivers and bottom-line benefits of accelerating corporate low-carbon transitions.
  • Towards A Plastic-Free World


  • 16:00
    Arrivals and Networking
  • 16:30
    Welcome and Keynote from Kate Raworth
  • 16:50
    Panel discussion: Axel Threlfall in conversation with Kate Raworth, Dr Jason Hickel, and Leon Wijnands
  • 17:45
    Roundtable discussions (moderated discussions in groups of 10-12)
  • 18:30
    Networking and drinks
  • 18:30

Venue Details

The Great Hall, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), One Moorgate Place, London EC2R 6EA

Who's Attending

Assoc Director of Brand & Innovation 1HQ
Analyst Aberdeen Asset Management
Head of Sustainability ACCA
Sustainability Procurement Consultant Accenture
MD Accenture
Principal Consultant Acre
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams
Sustainability Manager Anglian Water
Global Sustainability Manager Anheuser-Busch InBev
Chief Sustainability Officer & Executive Director Anthesis
CEO Anthesis
Associate Director Anthesis
Head of SD reporting ArcelorMittal
Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility Aviva
Senior Manager Aviva
Group CR Manager Aviva
Community Manager B Lab UK
VP Barclays
High Growth & Entrepreneurs Manager Barclays
Director Barclays
CSR Exec Belron
Prinicpal Climate Change BHP Billiton
UKSSD Network Director Bioregional
Corporate Advisory Officer Bioregional
Environmental Manager Bouygues
Strategy BP
Programme Director, Advanced Mobility BP
Head of Market Development (Sustainability) British Standards Institution
Senior CRS manager Bupa
Responsibility Project Manager Burberry Ltd
Sustainability Consultant Capgemini
Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Analyt Capgemini
Global Head of Corporate Sustainability Capgemini
Graphic Designer + Sustainability Officer Capgemini
Community Engagement Advisor Cargill Plc
Corporate Citizenship Manager Centrica
Corporate Client Manager Charities Aid Foundation
Corporate Clients Executive Charities Aid Foundation
Head of Corproate Clients Charities Aid Foundations
CEO Chinadialogue Trust
Associate Director – Sustainability Colliers International
Business Manager Cool Earth
Emeritus professor Cranfield University
B Corp Manager Danone
Best Practice Specialist De Beers Group of Companies
Economist DEFRA
Economist DEFRA
Data Innovation Lead Department of International Development
Sustainable Sourcing Manager Diageo
Sustainable Agriculture Manager Diageo
Underwriting Manager Direct Line
Market & Credit Risk Analyst Direct Line Group
Head of Estates DP World London Gateway
Sustainability Analyst, Real Estate E.ON
Director of Corporate Partnerships Earthwatch Institute
Editor Ethical Corp
Sustainability Manager EY
Director, Enterprise Growth Services EY
Principal Change Designer Forum for the Future
Co-founder & Executive Director Future Fit Foundation
Investor Relations Director GlaxoSmithKline
Senior Executive – Public Affairs, Policy and Insight Grant Thornton LLP
Director Grant Thornton UK LLP
Head of Public Affairs, Policy and Insight Grant Thornton UK LLP
Community Manager Hammerson
Corporate affairs manager Heineken UK
Pro Bono Lead (US/UK & EMEA) Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Senior Environmental Advisor Hochtief UK Construction
Sustainability HSBC
Head of Campagns,Commercial Banking HSBC
Editor: this new world HuffPost
Sustainability Executive ICAEW
ICAEW Committee Member ICAEW
Sustainability Manager ICAEW
Sustainability Intern ICAEW
Head of Sustainability Informa Plc
Sustainability Manager Innocent Drinks
Sustainability Manager Innocent Drinks
Member Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
Policy & Engagement Lead Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA)
Innovation Partner Interface
Director of sustainability Interserve Plc
EMEA Director Intertek
Busniess Development Manager Intertek
Credibility Coordinator ISEAL Alliance
Global Head Energy & Sustainability ISS Global
Sustainable Food Innovator Jink Ink Ltd
Director JLL
Community Manager JLL
Investment Analyst Jupiter Asset Management
Environment Manager Kier Ltd
Operations Sustainability Manager King’s College London
Renewables manager Lego
Senior Account Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
PPA Development Lightsource Renewable Energy
Senior Development Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
Global CR Manager Linklaters
Manager Lloyds Banking Group
Business Advice Manager London Waste and Recycling Board
Partner Lux Nova Partners
Senior Sustainability Manager Marks and Spencer
Sustainability Manager Marylebone Cricket Club
Analyst Morgan Stanley
Director Morgan Stanley
Investment Analyst Morgan Stanley Investor Management
Senior Sustainability Manager Multiplex
Sustainability Manager Multiplex Construction Europe
Senior Sustainability Manager Multiplex Construction Europe
International Director NEF Consulting
Founder Neighbourly
CEO Neighbourly
Portfolio Manager Newton IM
Note Taker
MA Graduate Note Taker
Managing Partner Europe One Hundred
Risk Manager Orsted
Sustainability Manager Osborne
Head of UK and Ireland PRI
Investor Private investor
Head of EHS Prudential plc
Head of CR Prudential UK & Europe
Global CR Manager PwC
Sustainable Behaviours Lead PwC
Sustainability Director Reckitt Benckiser Plc
Professor of Accounting and Corporate Accountability Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor Royal Institution G.B.
ESG Specialist Russell Investments
Director RY
Sustainability Officer Sainsbury’s
Business Development Director Salter Baxter
Sustainable Investment Analyst Schroders
Sustainability Manager Selfridges
Ethical Trade Manager Selfridges
Director of Sustainability Selfridges
Environmental Advisor Skanska
FP&A Accountant Skanska UK Plc
Head of Sustainability Southern Housing Group
CIO Standard Bank London Ltd
Vice President Statoil
Director Sustainability Taylor Wimpey
Head of Sustainability Telford Homes PLC
Group Sustainability Manager Telford Homes PLC
Corporate communications and campaigns director Tesco
Sustainability Reporting Manager Tesco
Head of Global Campaigns The Body Shop
Event Manager The Crowd
Chairman The Crowd
Finance Manager Tideway
Lead ESG Positive Impact Trucost
Sustainability Marketing Manager TUI Travel
Senior communications manager Tullow Oil Plc
Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Turner & Townsend
Fixed income specialist UBS Asset Management
VP Sustainable Business Unilever
VP Finance Unilever
Information & Analytics Sustainable Business Specialist Unilever
Project Manager Unilever
Head of Sustainability University Of Greenwich
Strategic Projects Manager – Technical & Innovation Veolia
Strategic project lead Veolia
Technical Director Verco
Managing Director Verco
Senior Consultant Verco Advisory Services
Sustainability Specialist Virgin Atlantic
Business Innovation Director Virgin Group
Sustainability Manager Virgin Media
Breakthrough Innovation Lead Volans
Sustainability Panel Member Walgreens Boots Alliance
Private Sector Advisor WaterAid
Editor We Mean Business
Head International Development Policy WWF
Project Coordinator You Are Oxygen
Global Supply Chain Product Leader Zurich Commercial