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Reinventing the Corporation

Any vision of the global future in the coming decades must include full recognition of the role transnational corporations play in shaping the planet’s human and ecological destiny. It is this reality that animates the intense contemporary debates about the role of business in society and the capacity—and will—of corporations to simultaneously create public benefit alongside private wealth at a scale and speed commensurate with the needs of a struggling, perilous world. It is difficult, arguably impossible, to imagine a future of 9 billion people living sustainably in the absence of systemic change in the purpose and design of corporations.

Originally published as Chapter 7 in Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2012).