In this issue Richard Higginson reports on the Takeover by the Company? Conference at St Paul’s Institute, a good example of ‘faith and work’ organisations pooling their resources constructively. It was followed by a memorable Hugh Kay lecture, given by Laura Nash from Harvard Business School. Laura evaluated the revival taking place among faith and work organisations in the USA. While she finds much that is encouraging she also detects polarising tendencies, and suggests ways in which faith could be a ‘catalytic’, and with that a more unifying, influence.
Several of our other articles have a radical feel. Roger Harper insists that the capitalist model is unchristian and puts forward a scheme for a more equitable company, in which investors and workers love each other as themselves. With Roger’s knowledge we showed his article to two people who provide a contrasting response. Roger Sawtell agrees with Roger Harper’s analysis but disagrees with his solution, arguing that a tried and tested alternative is already on offer in the shape of the co-operative movement. Clive Wright disagrees with the analysis, arguing that capitalism, for all its flaws, still has a lot to be said for it. We hope that readers will be stirred by this lively debate into writing in with their own views.
Francis Davis writes informatively on Social Enterprise, showing how this rapidly expanding movement offers new scope for melding business initiative with social idealism. In a similar vein, Peter Heslam calls for the potential constructive role that business can play to receive far greater emphasis in the current debates about eliminating global poverty. He argues for a transformationist rather than liberationist theological perspective. We look forward to Peter contributing a regular two-page column in FiBQ from the vantage of his new project Transforming Business.
Tim Harle provides a perceptive tribute to Peter Drucker, who died recently, and Peter Desmond enthusiastically reviews Richard Bull’s book on Financial Ratios.