Stephen Howard, CEO, Business in the Community

The results of BITCs consultation and survey on business engagement in local communities, a central theme in the Government’s Big Society agenda, were announced at Business in the Community’s (BITC) AGM and Leadership Summit.

The consultation and survey combined received responses from the UK’s most senior business leaders – from small and local businesses to multinational corporations. The Summit is all about hearing those recommendations, which will be put to the Prime Minister, and hearing his response.

BITC now has over 800 members and runs many programmes and campaigns – and one that Amplified is very fond of, the Work Inspiration programme which has enjoyed huge success in its first year (for more details seewww.amplifiedevents.co.uk/workinsp for our live coverage in September – 1 year on from the start of the campaign, and for full details http://www.bitc.org.uk/workplace/work_inspiration/index.html).

BITC President HRH The Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister will be speaking at this AGM & Leadership Summit later today. (We also covered the IBM Start Summit in September – a project of the HRH The Prince of Wales).

In his address to members, Stephen Howard, CEO, said:

“The whole social contract that we have with society is changing… …social media has changed the pace of that change”

Leadership teams of BITC have helped transform people, and communities. We are focused on creating a sustainable future.

We were shown a video, presented by HRH, who says:

Leadership teams of BITC have helped transform people, and communities.

“Companies that invest in long term relationships with their communities can build a stronger business”

Being a responsible business today is a two way relationship with the community (or bi-directional).

We have learned how to support community entrepreneurs, how to work with the community – our task now is to take this knowledge and drive it forwards – and to continue to collaborate. Public, private, voluntary sector…

We’ve learned how to work with the community. We’e learned that volunteering in all shapes and forms – from board level to a few hours a week – is invaluable.

Our Ready for work programme gives people confidence, to help them get back in to work. (Other BITC programmes: the Mayday Network, Sustainable Marketplaces, Start Engaging the Consumer, the Visioning Project, Working Internationally)

“It is [long believed that] if business brains could understand the issues in the community, they could come up with practical solutions to them”.

The power of businesses using their brands is immense. And when they collaborate with other businesses in communities – the results are even better.

HRH Prince Charles challenges “large business and brands to use their marketing muscle to create positive change…”

The role for business leaders is to really believe in the importance of their role in the community, and to drive that value through their business.

Stephen Howard: People – Planet – Performance

The journey towards sustainability: what is our role as businesses in the community?

“What kind of country do we want to live in?”

“Work hard, dream big” Stephen Howard

People, Planet:  “sustainability… moving beyond just ‘use less’ ”

(The Responsible Business convention is in March next year).

Capitalism 2.0: is there a compelling picture we can paint together of what a sustainable future might look like? We need to bring together creative talents to develop a compelling vision of the future.

Stephen invited Amanda Sourry, Unilever, to the stage.

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