Prolific Management expert, Peter Drucker, argued as far back as 1974 that organizations, especially business, are as essential to society as management is to organizations. Likewise, Howard Bowen, one of the earliest advocates of the business of business being beyond business, contended that organizations should go beyond economic pursuits to engage in broader social goals. Drucker not only argued that business and other organizations have a duty to tackle social problems and social issues, keep society’s conscience and solve society’s problems. He put the ultimate responsibility for attainment of this obligation on management.
About a decade after Drucker’s prescient position, the World Commission on Environment and Development drew attention to severe social and environmental issues that are yet to abate. It warned that the rising levels of population and production had increased the scale and complexity of humanity’s requirements of natural resources very close to many of the thresholds, beyond which the earth system is greatly endangered. Since then, there has been an unprecedented focus on the interconnection and escalating magnitude of the economic, environmental and social challenges confronting humankind. Among these are critical human deprivations-such as unemployment, hunger, illiteracy, poverty, inequality and voicelessness. Others include natural resource depletion, contamination and pollution, as well as critical natural thresholds-such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation, including desertification, drought, land degradation and freshwater scarcity.
Evidently, the plethora of problems plaguing the world indicate that sustainable and desirable societal development demand eradicating poverty and achieving prosperity for all, within the means of the planet’s limited natural resources. This, in turn, requires concerted action by all and sundry. Everyone has a role to play and none is insignificant in the direly needed drive to curtail the worrisome array of problems.
This is why I am driven by and desirous of living the concept of ABOTU. ABOTU is a word in the language of the Urhobo people of Delta State in Nigeria. It connotes collaboration and cooperation in pursuit of certain goals. This platform is essentially about the ABOTU concept. I look forward to working with as many as people as necessary to ensure that together, we do our little to advance corporate sustainability performance and the good of all.
Welcome on board the ABOTU boat!