Sunday, 29 April 2007

Al Gore at Skoll Forum 2006

• Al Gore was the keynote speaker at last year’s Skoll World Forum in Oxford, but he wasn’t speaking about climate change. He was speaking a different focus of his own social entrepreneurship — the challenge of fundamentally changing the world of venture capital investment.

At last year’s Forum, Gore pointed out that while we are seeing evidence of leading public companies adopting sustainable business practices, there is still a long way to go to make sustainability fully integrated into the way the world does business. The main problem is the short-term investment focus which still pervades the corporate community, and which hinders long-term value creation. His example: 30 years ago in the US, the average stock holding period was 7 years ... now the average mutual fund turns over its entire portfolio in less than 11 months.
“Society is facing serious global challenges such as HIV/Aids, global warming and water scarcity. There is nothing new about this—what is new is the scale of these challenges. Sustainable development will be the primary driver of industrial and economic change over the next 50 years. More business leaders now agree that you can’t run a great business without responding to these forces. Business has to be part of the solution here: managers need to integrate sustainability values within their businesses.” — Al Gore and David Blood
Gore has set up a new company, Generation Investments, with David Blood (the former CEO of asset management at Goldman Sachs). The company aims to combine conventional equity market analysis with much longer-term judgments about sustainability. This venture has the potential to take the sustainability vision — which includes economic growth, earth stewardship and social accountability — right into the heart of mainstream investment practices. Generation Investments is doing this by investing in companies which embrace longer-term opportunities, foster transparency, innovation, and eco-efficiency.
Al Gore and David Blood’s presentation to the 2006 Skoll World Forum (1 hour 5 mins)
The Generation Investment Management Company Website
“For People and Planet” by Al Gore and David Blood Wall Street Journal 4 April 2006
An Inconvenient Truth / Al Gore Climate Crisis
The Live Earth concerts (7 July 2007)

Al Gore and David Blood’s presentation to the 2006 Skoll World Forum (1 hour 5 mins)