Business Fights Poverty Fortnightly Round Up

By Annabel Beales, Writer, Business Fights Poverty

In the last roundup of the year, we continue our discussions on gender equality and building resilient and sustainable food systems, and look forward to our first event on 21 January 2021 – Rebuild Better: Where Now? 

At the end of a challenging year, it is wonderful to end our program of content with more examples of leadership and purpose from across the Business Fights Poverty community.

Several of our articles continued the theme of our Virtual Summit on Gender, held at the beginning of this month.

  • In Gender-Based Violence and Tourism, Dr. Stroma Cole, Director of Equality in Tourism International explains why addressing power imbalances throughout organisations in the sector is essential to reduce gender-based violence in all its forms.
  • Early Intervention Results in Greater Gains for Girls, according to Joan Harper, Director, Women Forward, Bpeace. Her article provides insight into the Envision Lead Grow program, which starts working with girls at age ten and nurtures entrepreneurial skills over a period of eight years.
  • In I Am Purple: Youth-Focused Gender Empowerment, Yolandi Janse van Rensburg, Director of Digital Engagement, Every1Mobile shares lessons from the creation of a safe and user-led digital platform for young people that challenges harmful social norms around gender equality.

Another recurring theme for us this year – and one that will become increasingly important for everyone over the coming decades – is the challenge of securing sustainable and resilient food supply chains. In addition to numerous articles across the year, our September conference, Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020, included a day on Building Resilient Livelihoods. Our two webinars on Tackling Poverty in Global Supply Chains, hosted with Mars, and on Nature and its Value to International Supply Chains with Standard Chartered, deepened our conversation on how supply chains can be resigned to work in harmony with nature and to support the wellbeing of all the world’s people, particularly the small-scale farmers who underpin global food production.

Over the last few weeks we have added to this important discussion:

  • A sustainable equitable food system needs to be nourished at the source, says Sarah Rawson, Senior Strategist, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Olam. Her article highlights what Olam Food Ingredients and Olam Global Agri are doing to secure the health and well-being of small-scale farmers in emerging markets, and a sustainable food-secure future for all.
  • In our Spotlight Podcast, hear Rudrani Oza, Senior Manager of Farm Innovations, CottonConnect, discuss her work to transform the lives of cotton farmers and develop resilient supply chains. You’ll hear inspiring examples of CottonConnect’s work to support farmers to build their skills and support their families, and practical ideas that businesses can adopt to build equitable and resilient value chains. Rudrani is a gender expert with a particular interest in supporting women farmers. You cna also learn about the pressures of climate change and COVID-19 on women farmers’ income, time and health in Rudrani’s article ‘Listening to women cotton farmers’ voices: The human cost of climate change.’
  • In a second Spotlight interview, Hanneke Faber, President of Foods and Refreshment, Unilever shares the reasons why planning for the future of foods now is so essential, as well as the top trends on the horizon. She also discusses what it’s like to work in a company that is known as a global leader in sustainability, which places its purpose – ‘to make sustainable living commonplace’ at the centre of its operations. Hear more about the benefits of this purpose-driven approach, from driving superior financial performance to becoming the employer of choice in over 50 countries.

Finally, Daniela Cepeda Cuadrado, Project Officer, Transparency International Health Initiative highlights an important concern which has, perhaps, received less attention that it deserves in the fight against COVID-19. In Corruption, Covid-19 and Inequality, she advises on what businesses can do to tackle corruption, which has been a significant factor in widening inequalities throughout the course of the pandemic.

After the tumult of 2020, Business Fights Poverty is looking ahead to 2021 with determination to play our part in ensuring that people, planet and the economy are prioritised equally as the world rebuilds from the crisis.

On 21st January, our Rebuild Better Series of virtual summits continues with Rebuild Better: Where Now?, to explore the key trends, challenges and opportunities of 2021, and how we can emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis. The half-day event provides three opportunities for you to connect with peers, benefit from expert insights, and share your own perspectives:

  • A webinar on Understanding the Health Pathways out of the Pandemic will explore the role of business as a partner to government and civil society as we seek to roll-out new vaccines, develop on the existing COVID-19 response in support of the most vulnerable, and strengthen health systems and access to self-care.

You’ll learn about some of the latest promising health initiatives and practical examples of actions that businesses are taking to support the next stage of response.

  • A webinar on Understanding the Mindsets for Creating a Just and Regenerative Future will draw on the work of our event partner, Forum for the Future, to examine four mindsets that are emerging from the pandemic and how each will affect our ability to Rebuild Better.

Join us to deepen your understanding of the mindsets that are needed to build a just and regenerative future, and how these mindsets can be developed to drive action within your own organisation.

  • An interactive workshop on the challenges and opportunities of 2021 will give you the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers and share perspectives.

The event is free to attend live, and you can also purchase one of our digital passes giving you access to the day’s sessions as well as to video recordings and key insight summaries from the event. Visit our event registration page to find out more.

Finally, as a thank you to the Business Fights Poverty community, we would like to share with you our ‘Rebuild Better Playlist’, a compilation of uplifting music by local artists who featured in our events this year. Throughout what has been a stressful year for many of us, the actions of so many members of our community to support vulnerable people and communities has been an enduring source of inspiration.

We look forward to working with you all in 2021 to help build a more equitable and resilient world.

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