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The New Age Business Agenda

By Kathryn Cassidy

A new terminology is sweeping the globe at the moment and it is called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Other terms that you may find yourself reading about are Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Criteria. The highly admirable (and long overdue) principle that lies behind these acronyms is 'corporate speak' for a subject that lies close to my heart - that of authenticity.

Leading companies across the globe are discovering something that the metaphysician has known all along. If you incorporate transparency, responsibility and ethicality into the core values of a business practice, profits will automatically follow.

CSR is set to change the face of business practice and the ramifications will be global. I also mean that in the literal sense, as the main conscious catalyst for this emerging revolution is the realisation that our planet cannot sustain our technological and industrial advancements in its present form. Climate change, dwindling energy reserves and waste management are all issues that have to be urgently addressed.

On the personal level people are increasingly turning away from companies offering genetically modified comestibles, synthetic products and nutritionally deficient foods in favour of healthier options. This may be due to a subconscious awareness of a lack of authenticity in corporate culture.

Obesity is just one major issue that has highlighted the yawning gap between the capitalist societies and the conditions endured in the third world countries Companies such as McDonalds, Coca Cola and PepsiCo are rapidly having to embrace CSR as ethical consumerism takes hold.

Ultimately, the phenomenon of globalisation can only effect positive change by bridging the gap between cultures and connecting us digitally and spiritually to our fellow man.

A new world order is slowly being birthed. One which is based on social awareness and responsibility and which focuses on the collective. Those companies which do not recognise the importance of CSR will simply not survive. The new strap line for 2006 and indeed the entire 'noughties' is going to be 'Good Business Is Big Business'. Companies that act in an open and responsible way with their consumers, suppliers and employees will foster loyalty, greater productivity and turnover. By taking the 'whole' (holistic practice) into account, businesses can gain trust and a solid reputation, whilst positively impacting social and environmental conditions.

The reason I can write about CSR with some authority is due to the prescience that planetary configurations can provide. My work as a futurologist aims to highlight the indivisibility between the celestial and terrestrial. CSR is the first wave of change associated with the move of Pluto into the sign of Capricorn at the start of 2008. Capricorn is associated with business, companies and the governance within them. As Pluto transits through the sign, a passage of approximately 10 years, we will witness the transformation of business practice as we know it today.

Hierarchical structures will gradually disappear making way for much greater personal responsibility and accountability of the individual. The health and well-being of all whom a product impacts; supplier, employee, consumer and planet will be of the utmost importance. In fact the new acronym to emerge during the transit could well be PPA - Personal and Professional Authenticity.

Companies won't profit by simple compliance with CSR. The directors will need to be personally convinced of its merits and embed it into the heart of their company culture. Additionally, employees won't suddenly love a job just because the company ethos has changed, but they can take responsibility for ensuring they love what they do.

The reason you are reading this now is due to the -120 - phase of the Jupiter/Uranus cycle - a cycle long associated with political change and rebellion against the status quo.This cycle is when innovative activities come to conscious awareness, especially those involved with moving the collective forward in some way.

No change is implemented without tension and opposition and it is undoubtedly a fairly utopian idea that all businesses can or will suddenly integrate social, environmental and economic ideals. However, once the concept starts gathering pace globally over the next few years the CSR (or PPA) agenda will become part of public consciousness.

Once that shift occurs consumers will be looking to spend their money on products which deliver not only value for money, but ones which have been produced by companies seen to be delivering authentic and ethical values. CSR originated in the 1980's by 2008 it will quite literally have made a world of difference.

Kathryn Cassidy hosts a blog concerned with the impact of planetary cycles on terrestrial events. By studying the effect of previous cycles one is given access to future trends. Kathryn considers that over the next ten years it will become commonplace for large corporations to employ futurists who study planetary periodicity for use in product development. Kathryn has a special interest in Branding and Strategic Planning using these methods.

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