Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy
January 18, 2010
Published in collaboration with Georgetown University, this World Economic Forum report addresses faith and the global agenda, with a focus on the connection between values and the economy. It includes a Facebook poll of 130,000 respondents in ten countries, two-thirds of whom consider the current economic and financial crisis to be one of ethics and values as well. The report also contains essays by global religious leaders including Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Patriarch Bartholomew, and and essay by Berkley Center Director Thomas Banchoff reviewing major developments at the intersection of religion and world affairs in 2009. It was published in the run-up to the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2010.
The poll results point to a trust deficit regarding values in the business world. Only one-quarter of respondents believe that large, multinational businesses apply a values-driven approach to their sectors, while over forty percent believe that small and medium-sized businesses apply such an approach.
Almost two-thirds of respondents believe that people do not apply the same values in their professional lives as they do in their private lives. When asked whether businesses should be primarily responsible to their shareholders, their employees, their clients and customers, or all three equally, almost half of the respondents chose the option of all three equally.
When asked to identify the values most important for the global political and economic system, almost forty percent chose honesty, integrity and transparency; twenty-four percent chose others rights, dignity and views; twenty percent chose the impact of actions on the well-being of others and seventeen percent chose preserving the environment.