June 24, 2010
The New York Forum:
The New York Forum was held on June 22-23, 2010 in New York City. The New York Forum is a call for action by the business community to reinvigorate the economy and to find new confidence and credibility. Its founder, Richard Attias, designed it to bring together the key actors – leading CEOs, policy makers, thought leaders – at a critical moment to deal with the continuing economic crises.
Below please find the summary of The New York Forum’s conclusions and suggestions sent to the G20 Summit in Toronto. These suggestions and action points are adapted largely from the five intensive working taskforces that took place during The Forum. These taskforces focused on creating solutions and sustainable actions plans. In addition to the taskforces, many key themes from the plenary sessions were adapted into the declaration. The over fifty speakers at The New York Forum included News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit, Nobel Laureate in Economics Edmund Phelps, Infosys Co-Founder S.D. Shibulal, Loews Corporation’s James Tisch, Carlos Slim Helu and French Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde.
On the eve of the G20 summit in Toronto, we, leaders of the world business community, met at The New York Forum, to discuss and establish an agenda for action for your review. Our intent is to create a climate of confidence and optimism to counter economic uncertainty and rebuild trust in governmental and business institutions.
The world is full of amazing opportunities thanks to the rise of developing countries and innovation. To help capitalize on these opportunities, we believe:
1. The only way out of our current economic plight is to achieve sustained job-creating growth, and restored economic dynamism through a major increase in innovation in the business sector. All industries must understand the need to actively explore new business models to adapt to this new context and must take actions in cooperation with governments.
2. The world needs a global economic rule of law. In particular it needs to protect intellectual property rights and mechanisms to ensure free trade and fair competition. International institutions and agreements must be strengthened to achieve this goal.
3. The world needs a consistent global financial regulatory framework. Establishing rules to reduce excessive leverage and speculation is necessary, while still encouraging investment and growth in businesses of all sizes. We need dramatically improved tools and ethical guidelines for risk management. We are confident that properly reformed financial markets will significantly foster economic development while reducing systemic risk.
4. Education is central to society as well as the economy. Corporations must work more closely with schools and universities to train the next generations of workers, researchers, entrepreneurs and citizens. We encourage governments to put education as a top priority.
5. Corporations must adapt and pursue new forms of business practices that can be profitable to all. The fight against poverty is a vital contributor to sustainable growth .
We, as business leaders, commit to:
1. Promote transparency in business values. Promote ethics, principles and values in corporate governance rather than relying on outdated rules and laws.
2. Increase the pace of innovation and progress by sharing knowledge on technologies, best practices and effective business model innovation. To this end, we are creating The New York Forum Institute as a knowledge management platform open to the entire business community to monitor initiatives launched at The Forum.
3. Recognize the need for greater diversity of talent in the leadership of our organizations, to reflect changing global dynamics. The New York Forum Institute will promote best practices in leadership and talent.
4. Enhance support to entrepreneurs through specific coaching and funding programs set up by New York Forum participants.
5. Agree to review progress based on the conclusions of The New York Forum taskforces, and reporting on them every six months through The New York Forum Institute.
We propose the following actions be considered by the G20 to promote sustainable global growth:
Enhance Governance / Rules of the Game
Establish transparency of regulations to clarify intent and increase predictability
Create an environment that supports innovation through:
o Tax policies that reward creation of sustainable, innovative new enterprises
o Novel institutions that help government channel investment and finance to new ventures
o A clear and consistent protection of intellectual property rights
• Free Trade
Refuse protectionism and competitive devaluations as a way out of the current crisis
Explicitly address/manage the risk of increased protectionism as governments (of both emerging and mature economies) are concluding fiscal-stimulus programs and therefore may view protectionist measures as necessary to promote recovery
Harmonize and stabilize the regulatory environment to encourage investment while reducing systemic risk
o Aim to keep regulations stable over long periods of time (3-5 years)
o Pursue monetary policies that minimize currency volatility
o Establish adaptive and protective regulations for the financial markets.
Reinforce regulation to maintain and encourage key sources of capital (e.g., banks and other investors) to focus on enabling sustainable growth of other businesses, not on the creation of speculative financial instruments.
Enact pragmatic immigration policies encouraging diversity and free flow of human capital.
• Let companies fail!
Allow market forces to act, which will enable stronger, more competitive companies and promote appropriate, not excessive, risk-taking. At the same time ensure that there are retraining and support programs available to employees who need them.
Leadership / Decision Making
• Transparency and vision
To minimize uncertainty, communicate on the general intent of the G20 through a 3-5 year integrated global roadmap sooner rather than later. Details are important, but the medium-term intent is needed urgently.
• Human capital
Explicitly upgrade the broader pool of human capital through comprehensive global and national skills audits to understand and uncover hidden pockets of talent.
Urge emerging-market governments to expand their investment in education, particularly for women.
We are convinced that these actions will play a key role in restoring sustainable, job-creating economic growth and dynamism, spur job creation, and create a far more favorable environment for innovation and sustainable development. We will review progress on these proposals before next February’s G20 meeting in France.