corporate social responsibility

Andrew Hill

To attend my first Skoll World Forum in the same week as writing a column with the headline “We should stop trying to change the world” may be regarded as imprudent. The Skoll forum on social entrepreneurship, started nine years ago by eBay billionaire Jeff Skoll, probably has a higher quotient of delegates with that precise objective than any other conference on the planet.

What’s interesting is that it also has an increasing number of delegates from “big business”. There were none at the first forum, according to Pamela Hartigan, director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford’s Said Business School. Yet she was on her way to lunch with more than 60 on Thursday, which she considers a positive sign. Read more >>

Andrew Hill

I wish David Cameron and his government would make their minds up about what they think of business. One week they endorse the stripping of titles from disgraced banking barons and allow the flames of the campaign against bonuses to spread; the next, the UK prime minister is out warning about “dangerous rhetoric” that implies “wealth creation is somehow anti-social”.

It is a bit like the club chairman showing football fans a pre-match video of heinous fouls committed by the visiting team’s players and then complaining when the same fans become abusive during the match.

Mr Cameron — and his opposite number Ed Miliband, who made a cack-handed attempt to start separating business into “good” and “bad” sectors in a speech last year — must start to realise that there is nothing to be gained by such confused debate, and much to lose. Read more >>

Andrew Hill

Andrew Witty, GlaxoSmithKline’s chief executive, won plenty of column inches and airtime on Monday with the UK drug company’s offer to supply developing countries with millions of doses of its vaccine against rotavirus gastroenteritis, at a 95 per cent discount to the western market price.

Your first reaction might well be: if $2.50 a shot still covers GSK’s costs, Mr Witty’s making quite a margin on the $50 he charges the developed world for the drug. Read more >>