Cherie Blair Addresses the Global Business Initiative’s Advisory Board in Rome
The Georgetown McDonough Global Business Initiative held its annual Advisory Board meeting in Rome in April, in conjunction with the university’s John Carroll Weekend. During the meeting, members heard from Cherie Blair, chair of Omnia Strategy, author, and committed advocate for human rights. John DeGioia, president of Georgetown University, introduced the session by emphasizing Georgetown’s commitment to preparing men and women for others and thanking Blair for being a role model of a global leader.
Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, discussed the importance of the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative to encourage businesses around the world to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, a new ranking of the world’s largest publicly listed companies by their human rights performance. Omnia Strategy, which Blair established in 2011, works to help companies incorporate social responsibility into their business models.
“Respect for human rights has to be part of companies’ DNA,” she said. “Reputation is king, and both consumers and employees care about it.”
Blair also encouraged board members to embrace the idea that companies are corporate citizens as well as financial entities.
“Good corporate citizenship is the good thing to do and also the right thing to do,” she said.
For Blair, technology provides new opportunities to tackle global poverty, from internet in less privileged schools, access to credit for women who want to start businesses, and remote diagnostic tools for medical professionals.