Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Sense of Ownership

pg. 38: Indeed, this report has emphasized how the state-based core of the system should adapt to a more complex, bottom-up world in which non-governmental actors have become a more significant force. But what is also required is a corresponding sense of ownership in the health of the international system by these very non-state stakeholders, which until now have tended, with the notable exception of certain NGOs, to leave such matters entirely to their national governments... 

Readers' Guide Comment on “corresponding sense of ownership”

While this sense of ownership is worded as a requirement for non-state Actors, it seems targeted at corporate executives. Note the choice of the expression a "sense of ownership." These words are reflective of the language and ideas employed by those working in the private sector. In the public and civil society sector, ‘stewardship', ‘responsibility’, and ‘ethics’ would more accurately capture the sense of motivation and function.  

WEF recognizes that this lack of global public awareness in the corporate world is a significant challenge for the effectiveness of its proposals. Not only do the GRI proposals need a corporate citizenry that is well aware of the realities of the world, they also need to have these corporate executives more self-consciously involved in formal global governance. WEF apparently feels that corporate executives need a sense of ‘global ownership’ in order to appreciate fully their newly assigned governance role. Its two principle solutions to help transform corporate executives from global market experts to global governors are the YGL Oath and the active involvement of ‘certain NGOs’ as ethical teachers and leaders.

Related Ideas: Step Five; aligning values with governance; gaining acceptanceGlobal business oath 

The Readers' Guide welcomes comments with alternative examples or counter examples, supplemental assessments of the extracted GRI text or commentary – critical or otherwise – of the above interpretation of GRI’s perspective.

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