Sistema B, a new business model for the world
Sistema B: a global movement that aims to create an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system for all people and the Planet.
From October 9 to 12, the second congress on “Co-governance” was held in Brazil, entitled “Co-governance as a process of building fraternity in politics starting from cities”, during which we got to know numerous experiences of participatory government for the construction of public policies, from all over the world.
Among these is Sistema B Brazil (where “b” stands for benefit), which was presented by Marcel Fukayama, a young Brazilian, co-founder of Sistema B Brazil and executive director of Sistema B International.
“We work for an economic system that is inclusive, equitable and regenerative, for all people and for our planet,” explained Marcel.
What is the point of an economy that grows financially – Sistema B activists ask – but because of its very nature generates rising inequality, drains the natural resources of our planet, deepens individualism and excludes thousands of people?
Started in the United States in 2006 and aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sistema B responds with a community of companies committed to the common good and promoting an economy that promotes a positive impact in the world, people, societies and the Earth, both socially and environmentally.
“We are experiencing a major shift in global and historical culture,” says Marcel Fukayama, “and we have an opportunity to use the power of the market to solve complex social and environmental problems, to build a new economy”.
And so, one of the goals of Sistema B is to redefine the concept of “economic success”. In a traditional way of thinking, economic success is synonymous with profit, prosperity, and wealth. According to Sistema B, profit should no longer be just the goal, but should become a means to generate positive environmental and social impact. The prosperity of a company should be evaluated together with the preservation of the environment and the benefits brought to society.
“Redefining the concept of success in economics,” Fukayama adds, “means that success can and should be measured beyond the financial aspect, and consider the well-being of people, society and our planet.”
B corp – B the change
But to get more companies, people and institutions to commit to increasing their positive social and environmental impact, according to Sistema B, there is a need to connect the public and private sectors, to promote public policies that engage people who believe in the possibility of this economic change.
Marcel Fukayama explains that there are several ways a government could support those companies that choose Sistema B, starting with its laws.
“We need to change laws, norms, policies. Today we have more than 50 countries around the world – USA, Italy, Canada, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Chile – introducing in their parliaments, congresses, the proposal to pass legislation for Benefits Corporations – Società Benefit (Italy) – companies of collective benefit and interest. In countries that have already introduced this law there are more than 10 thousand companies that have adopted this new legal status, strengthening the performance of companies with purpose, accountability and transparency”.
And what role do ordinary citizens play in Sistema B? According to a survey commissioned by Google, conducted by Ipsos in 2020 – explains Fukayama – 54% of Brazilian consumers choose to buy products that are both socially and environmentally responsible. “So, this trend of change in consumption is happening. Consuming is a political act, consuming is a message we give to the world we want to see. We, as consumers, taxpayers and investors, can promote change to the system simply from our place as ordinary citizens”.
In short, the ball is in our court: change also depends on our willingness to participate and commit, through our daily choices, to the construction of a better and fairer world for all living beings.