28 March 2024
3 minutes read

By Nick Hunter

The recent B Corp Assembly retreat brought together over 300 like-minded business leaders to the beautiful location of Cape Shank to discuss the progress of the global movement. Despite having a role in designing and naming the retreat It was probably the first time I had fully grasped what being part of the movement truly meant, and the collective power we have to shift the needle on some of the wicked problems our planet is facing. There were some incredible talks, panels and conversations (sometimes while bushwalking or dancing with abandon) and we returned with a renewed sense of purpose and a wealth of valuable insights.

Here are my key takeaways from the retreat:

1. Beyond Profit: Redefining Capitalism

The concept of "woke capitalism" was a starting point for the retreat, with Carl Rhodes anchoring us with a warning: ‘drawing attention to social issues without fixing core economic issues is not progress’. First and foremost businesses need to pay tax, create gainful employment and provide products and services that the world needs. B Corps demonstrate that business can be profitable and a force for good and responsible business practices are no longer a nicety - they're the price of entry in an era demanding stakeholder accountability.

2. Long-TermThinking: Generational Business Plans

Indigenous business practices offer a powerful lesson: businesses should be built to last and consider all stakeholders now and into the future. A 100-year business plan encourages responsible decision-making that considers the long-term impact on stakeholders, the environment and the overall health of the business itself.

3.  The Power of Storytelling:  Shaping Culture and Driving Change

Damon Gamau spoke about if we want to beat the bad actors then ‘we need to throw a better party’ by telling entertaining stories. Compelling stories have the power to shape culture and influence policy. Businesses must leverage storytelling to inspire and educate consumers, ultimately driving positive change. HINT: creative agencies like Paper Moose excel at helping you do this!

4. Collaboration is Key:  Tackling Wicked Problems Together

Complex problems that have no easy solution are difficult for any one business to tackle on their own - which is why the retreat emphasised collaboration so emphatically. It’s a groundswell movement for a reason and it’s gaining serious traction. With a doubling in size over the past two years, B Corps are now a significant global force, employing hundreds of thousands and contributing billions to the economy. We need to foster every opportunity to collaborate and grow the movement, as the awareness levels of the B Corp mark is still too low.

5. Maintaining the B Corp Trust Mark: A Shared Responsibility

With the movement's rapid growth and challenges surrounding members pushing the boundaries of what are acceptable business practices, the retreat hosted a critical discussion centred on preserving the integrity of the B Corp trust mark. The new assessment process is a positive step, ensuring certified businesses continue to meet the high standards expected.

Collective vigilance from B Corps is crucial to prevent greenwashing and ensure the mark retains its power as a symbol of genuine social and environmental responsibility.

The experience left me with a profound sense of pride in being part of the B Corp community—a group of businesses that are not merely content with success but are driven by a commitment to enact real, lasting change in the world. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

The B Corp movement offers a powerful path forward for businesses seeking to make a positive impact. Sing out if you’d like information about our experience of achieving certification.

CEO, Executive Creative Director

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we create, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.