What Does It Really Mean To Be A Purpose-Driven Company?

Purpose is a concept that has been confused and abused to the point where some are thinking of moving to something else. In this talk, Victoria will set out why she thinks purpose is a concept of profound significance for business and society, because it encapsulates and operationalised the paradigm shift happening at the heart of economics and business. Having lived through a necessary time of proliferation and noise, consensus is starting to emerge about precisely what it is to be a purpose-driven organisation is. This is best evidence by the - about to be launched - first national guidance standard: PAS 808: Purpose-driven Organisations: Worldviews, Principles and Behaviours which was steered by a range of actors including Anglian Water, JLL, B Lab (C Corp), Prof Colin Mayer, John Lewis, ReGenerate, UK Government (DCMS), Future Fit Foundation and Business in the Community. Victoria will outline the accountability frame for purpose at the heart of this standard and how far she thinks purpose-driven firms can create the long-term wellbeing for everyone that we are in danger of irreversibly losing.


Dr Victoria Hurth works at the intersect of academia and hands-on business to help companies transition to be drivers of long-term wellbeing for all (sustainability). She works most of her time at the University of Cambridge – as a Fellow of the Institute for Sustainability Leadership and as a Visiting Fellow at Judge Business School. focuses on five core pillars: purpose, governance, marketing, leadership and culture. Victoria is currently Technical Author for the first national standard specifying the Worldviews, Principles and Behaviours of Purpose-Driven Organisations (PAS 808). She co-led the process to create ISO 37000, the first global consensus standard on organisational governance and currently co-leads the ISO working group (TC309/WG1) developing standards on Indicators of Effective Governance (ISO 37006) and guidance for governing bodies in Using, Selecting and Creating Indicators (ISO 37005). Victoria is an UNCTAD review panel member for ISAR Honors, was a member of the UNCTAD/UNEP Task Force developing a methodology for SDG indicator 12.6.1 and their guidance on core SDG indicators for business, and was a member of WBCSD’s working group on Governance. She is a director of the Soil Association.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

10:00 - 10:45 BST


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  • Victoria Hurth.jpeg
    Dr Victoria Hurth
    Fellow of the Institute for Sustainability Leadership
    University of Cambridge
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group