St Gallen, 15 November 2012. Bas de Leeuw, Managing Director at WRF opened the Oikos conference at the University of St. Gallen. He introduced the topic of sustainability presenting the key concepts, challenges and opportunities. This introduction led to the main topic of the conference “Commodity Trade – Hotspot Switzerland”.
Bas urged to take action on sustainable development, showing that there is no need to choose between two extreme attitudes represented by hard and soft approaches – economic gain vs. environment, corporations vs. society, cheap labor force – local resources etc. The best manner to solve the problem is abandoning the distinction between ‘them’ and ‘us’, where the companies are blamed for negative impact on the society and environment. Consumer’s behavior is influencing big corporations and their decisions, consequently, people purchasing goods can make a difference. Protests and boycotts are a form of putting important issues higher on the public and media agenda, nevertheless the philosophy of ‘doing more with less’ – consuming and producing more efficiently and differently providing opportunities for the poor – seems to be the way to reach sustainable development.
Read here the full article, written by Marcela Mogilska.