Our latest commentary, published this week in MinnPost, describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the disparities and inequalities we’ve been warning Minnesota about in recent years. The op-ed, headlined “Equity is Rising as an Imperative for Minnesota’s Recovery’’ summarized dozens of major news stories that reveal how racial and regional disparities were coming home to roost, from severe economic repercussions in North Minneapolis to the lack of internet access on the Iron Range. The article goes on to advance our Minnesota Equity Blueprint, a comprehensive guidebook with 140 specific recommendations for public policy and local action, for more inclusive and equitable growth as we recover. Co-authors Jane Leonard and Dane Smith, current and former presidents of Growth & Justice conclude: “COVID can be our crucible of long-term change for the better, if we choose. And our Minnesota Equity Blueprint could be the first draft of that new socioeconomic contract for a more inclusive, equitable and secure prosperity across the North Star State.”
Forbes business analyst Alan Murray in a recent “CEO Daily” blog cited a survey showing that roughly half the nation’s CEOs believe the crisis will accelerate the move toward “stakeholder capitalism.” Murray cited Intel CEO Bob Swan, whose company is a regular on Fortune’s Change the World list, as a leading apostle of stakeholder capitalism. This is exemplified by his own company’s ambitious set of targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition to green power, restore clean water to local communities, eliminate landfill waste, combat human rights abuses in the supply chain, and double the number of women and minorities in leadership positions. The Minnesota Equity Blueprint commends local Minnesota business owners for similar strategic shifts and offers examples and best practices of business leadership that is focused on climate action, welcoming immigrants and investing in racial equity for the workforce and in communities.
We've often referred to the Minnesota Equity Blueprint as a road map to a more equitable future, and now we are embarking on a journey to literally map the Blueprint, with the help of a wonderful set of University of Minnesota-Morris students and their adviser at the UMM Center for Small Towns. Since the Stay-At-home orders came in mid-March, we've been meeting each week by Zoom to transform a few equity stories in each of the Blueprint chapters into a storymap of equity examples across the state, in hopes to inspire more such stories to emerge and be added to the storymap. It's just a start and we are seeking funds to do a much wider and deeper mapping effort, but we'd love your feedback on the demo that the students set up using StoryJS, at Growth & Justice Blueprint Equity Map . Many thanks to UMM students Adam, Desmond, Noelle, and Payton, and their adviser, Amy Mondloch. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback and we welcome advice, too, on mapping software and funding sources! A reminder, the entire Blueprint is downloadable free of charge and we've now divided out the 170 pages into more digestible chapter downloads, too.
"We’re going to see a new kind of capitalism—and it won't be the Milton Friedman capitalism that is just about making money. The new capitalism is that businesses are here to serve their shareholders, but also their stakeholders — employees, customers, public schools, homeless and the planet." — Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, from Investopedia page on “Stakeholder Capitalism.”