Sheila Halim, CEO of Amanah Mutual Berhad, attended our fourth global roundtable in Kuala Lumpur on 5th February along with thirty-six other participants.

 

Why did you attend the roundtable? I felt motivated to see that the SDGs play a central role in the WBA and was intrigued to find out more about the proposed collaboration between industries and the global goals. I have an open mind and enjoy meeting people, and I foresaw the roundtable as a great learning opportunity for myself and other organisations to come together and discuss how benchmarking can inform and impact sustainable action in the region but also globally.

Could you talk about one key insight? It was great to see a real mixture of participants in attendance, and the WBA’s emphasis on cross-sectoral engagement not only drove the conversation in new ways but also highlighted common core-values within us all: of the importance of creating sustainable change and protecting the people and planet of which that change is so reliant on. I feel the WBA champions the inter-connectedness of accountability around these ambitions.

…and looking to the future? I believe the WBA can be a spearhead for incorporating benchmarking into how change is managed across the world. In thinking about the role this would have in the region of South-East Asia, I see a lot of impact-management potential for the key industries of agriculture, manufacturing and construction. These industries in particular are having overwhelming impact on people and landscapes: plantations of rubber and palm-tree oil are the biggest contributor to the region’s GDP, manufacturing holds a lot of incentives for global investments and the construction of new infrastructure – which holds significant risks for the environment if unregulated – are increasing year by year.

How would you like to remain involved in the WBA? I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions in Kuala Lumpur and would like to play a role in further dialogues. As a CEO, I see an amazing opportunity for the WBA to help change the direction of money. To help move away from material focus to one that strengthens cross-sectoral partnerships and streamlines sustainable action.

 

 

Josien Piek, supervisory board member of Index Initiative, attended our third regional roundtable in Cape Town on 12th February along with thirty other participants.

 

Why did you attend the roundtable? I attended the roundtable in Cape Town for a number of reasons. As a member of the Supervisory Board of the Index Initiative, I find it important to see firsthand the breadth and the quality of the global consultation process taking place. Also, as a former employee of Investec Asset Management, I wanted to engage with my colleagues and assess their response to the mission and the methods of the WBA.

Could you talk about one key insight? A key insight that I had at the regional consultation in South Africa was the validity of many different perspectives and the possibility of bringing these together through the SDG-framework into the corporate strategy. It deepened my appreciation for the methodology of the WBA, allowing all voices to be heard whilst staying focused on impact through corporate strategy transformation.

…and looking to the future? I am most excited by the need that I perceive in different areas of the private sector, from corporates to investors, for correct, transparent and unbiased information on the SDGs and how these can be targeted through the mobilisation of the vast amount of human energy and inventiveness available in the corporate sector.