Purpose of the Corporation

Brussels, 28 September 2016

Creating Sustainable Companies Summit

Purpose, Governance and the Long-Term

Bringing together leading thinkers, businesses and policymakers to chart the way to the next generation of corporations.

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Reflecting on recent developments and imagining the economic and business environments on the horizon, this debate will assess what future sustainable corporate governance and business models will look like and ask how best to align social responsibility, profitability, competitiveness and innovation.

There is emerging consensus that companies should focus on creating long-term sustainable value but there is little agreement on how to define, measure or attain this objective. Join the discussion to promote a corporate governance framework that fosters the creation of inclusive and sustainable businesses.



John Kay

Well known author, economist, FT columnist and visiting professor at LSE

Věra Jourová

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality

Paul Dickinson

Chair, CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project)

Stefan Stern

Director of the High Pay Centre and visiting professor at Cass Business School

Marcello Palazzi

Founder of Progressio Foundation for Human Progress and Co-Founder B Lab Europe

Susanne Stormer

Vice President, Global TBL Management at Novo Nordisk

Paul Adamson

Chair of Forum Europe and founder of E!Sharp

Raj Thamotheram

Chief Executive Officer, Preventable Surprises

Nicolas Bernier Abad

Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG FISMA)

Matthias Schmidt

International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Region Lead: Germany

Peter Montagnon

Associate Director of the Institute of Business Ethics

Beate Sjåfjell

Professor at the Department of Private Law, University of Oslo

George Dallas

Policy Director at International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)

Jean-Guillaume Peladan

Head of Environmental Investments and Research at Sycomore Asset Management

Will Martindale

Head of Policy at Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)

Tineke Lambooy

Professor of Corporate Law at Nyenrode Business University

Joanna Sikora-Wittnebel

Company Law Unit, European Commission

Per Lekvall

Member of the Swedish Corporate Governance Board and member of the Policy Committee of EcoDa

Andrew Johnston

Professor of Company Law and Corporate Governance, University of Sheffield

Riitta Mynttinen

Independent Director and Member of the Communication Committee of EcoDa

Herman Mulder

Institutional adviser, speaker, lecturer and author

Richard Howitt

Member of the European Parliament for the Labour Party for the East of England

Filip Gregor

Head of the Responsible Companies Section at Frank Bold

Katrin Muff

Dean of Business School Lausanne

Eric Holterhues

Head of SRI and Head of Arts and Culture at Triodos

Mairead Keigher

Program Manager for Human Rights Reporting at Shift Project

Jeroen Veldman

Senior Research Fellow at Cass Business School

Marcello Bianchi

Head of Capital markets and listed companies division EuropeanIssuers & Deputy Director General at Assonime

Jan Cremers

University of Amsterdam

Emma Ihre

Head of Sustainability at Mannheimer Swartling

Paige Morrow

Head of Brussels operations at Frank Bold

Steve Waygood

Chief Responsible Investment at Aviva Investors

Michel Bande

Senior Executive Vice President Solvay

Hans Ulrich Beck

Global Director Research at Sustainalytics

Eszter Vitorino

Senior Manager Public Policy at GRI

Sam Maule

Policy Advisor, Sustainable Finance, E3G

Peter Tunjic

Founder of DLMA LABS

Why attend

Why attend

The summit will outline best practice and reforms of corporate governance and business management by tackling the following aspects:

  • The purpose of the corporation
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Executive pay
  • The role of the board
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Long-term and sustainable investment
  • Accounting models

Following the recommendations of corporate governance codes is no guarantee of a well-functioning company. CSR initiatives, whilst often making valuable contributions to society, can sometimes exist alongside unseen negative externalities.

The event will gather thought leaders, business, policy, academia and civil society representatives.

Benefit from the opportunity to network with those leading the way, who will discuss questions such as:

  • How can sound corporate governance foster the long-term success of corporations and sustainable behaviour?
  • What is best practice for embedding and protecting purpose and culture in corporations?
  • What is the role of investors and other stakeholders in this respect?
  • How do we identify and overcome the misaligned incentives driving short-termism?
  • How is good corporate governance relevant to the Capital Markets Union?

The event will also feature the launch of the report from a global roundtable series on corporate governance. The series, held by the Purpose of the Corporation Project during 2014-2016 in 6 cities worldwide, brought together academics and professionals on the forefront of understanding with the goal of seeking to advance theory, practice and policy of the field.

Report is available here

The global roundtable series was prompted by the need to review the governance of publicly listed companies, which are under pressure from capital markets to maximize their efficiency and generate short-term value. This has resulted in a serie of unintended social, environmental and economical consequences including:

  • Firm mismanagement through stock manipulation, insider trading and tax evasion
  • Excessive short-term focus that prevents businesses from investing in innovation to foster long-term sustainable growth
  • Erosion of trust between society and the corporate sector
  • Corporate failure to adequately respond to systemic risks, such as climate change
  • Increased inequality, partly due to the failure to translate corporate profits into higher median wages, and externalisation of costs

Organising Partners

Content partners

Practical information

Practical information

Detailed instructions (PDF) on how to get to the venue:

Download PDF practical information


Frank Bold is a purpose driven law firm using the power of business and non-profit approaches to solve social and environmental problems. Together with the Modern Corporation, a project based at Cass Business School, it leads the Purpose of the Corporation Project, a strategic and open-source platform for leading thinkers and organisations interested in promoting the long-term health and sustainability of companies.

The Creating Sustainable Companies Summit is free of charge but registration in advance is required (places are limited).


BIP, Place Royale 11
Brussels, 1000
Entrance (private courtyard)

The summit will be held in the heart of Brussels in an exceptional neoclassical building next to the European institutions and the city center, easily accessible by all means of transport.

See venue on map 

Recommended accommodation

Below you will find the location of the venue in the map marked in green. 

If you are coming from abroad, the official hotel partner of the summit, the NH Brussels City Centre (marked in a red) offers a special rate for the occasion. You can take advantage of the deal and book a room for the night of the 27 by filling in a specific form. Please get in touch with us to proceed with the booking (rooms are limited).

See hotel on map


If you are interested

See Summit Agenda or Register now or Contact us