Risk Insights, a World Economic Forum (WEF) New Champions member, together with its strategic partners Imperial Logistics and Instinctif Partners, has announced the launch of the WEF New Champions Chapter in South Africa.
The initiative forms part of The World Economic Forum’s New Champions Community which mobilises and capacitates invested corporate leaders from mid-sized companies to improve the state of the world.
New Champions South Africa will focus on strengthening members’ decision-making and performance by leveraging its network and insights to help them create impact through innovative, collaborative solutioning. New Champions’ companies are dynamic high-growth companies that are championing new business models, emerging technologies, and sustainable growth strategies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Esha Mansingh, executive vice-president: corporate affairs and investor relations at Imperial and co-chair of the WEF New Champions SA Chapter, says: “With stakeholders’ expectations fundamentally shifting towards purpose-driven, ESG imperatives, it highlights the urgent need for active, conscious and urgent leadership in South Africa – those with the will and ability to deliver meaningful change through deliberate and value-enhancing social and environmental initiatives.
“This is how we will help in building back better for South Africa and position our country for improved social inclusivity and climate conscious growth. This is the foundational premise of the World Economic Forum New Champions Chapter in South Africa and a key strategic focus for Imperial.”
Andrey Bogdanov, principal and interim CEO of Risk Insights and co-chair of the WEF New Champions SA Chapter, adds: “In the spirit of “building back better”, New Champions South Africa will focus on addressing key inhibiters to growth and sustainability for SMME’s. We aim to provide access to innovations and solutions that unlock SMME potential so these organisations can in turn help grow the greater South African economy. In today’s rapidly changing business climate, attention to ESG issues is becoming critical to long-term competitive success.”
The purpose of the New Champions SA Chapter would be to initially champion and support SMME growth and development in South Africa through targeted projects. This would be achieved by collaborating with New Champion members and strategic partners to create more inclusive economies.
The advent of accelerating stakeholder capitalism, both from a social and climate change perspective, and the impact this has on people, organisations and administrations, has exacerbated the need for collaboration and aggregation of resources to achieve positive outcomes in fractured environments.
Deanne Chatterton, CEO of Instinctif Partners and New Champions SA Chapter board member, comments: “Before the pandemic, we were already seeing segments of society taking action – led by innovators such as The Gambia’s Fatou Jeng and Sweden’s Greta Thunberg – but the awakening to the inter-connection of all the worlds systems has been highlighted starkly by Covid-19. Investors took notice, and expectations have shifted from ticking the right boxes to having a clear and authentic purpose. Stakeholders are expecting to see measurable impact, driven by meaningful action; words are no longer enough.
“New Champions’ members are uniquely positioned to contribute authentically to the amplifying global (and local) demand for a more conscious approach to sustainable development and ESG.”