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:: 02 the future of Global Economy
The new accountability
02 the future of Global Economy    1/22/2003 10:00:21 AM

It is no exaggeration to say that accountability is one of the defining imperatives of the modern global economy. Corporations now account for half of the world’s largest economies.

They dominate foreign direct investment, vastly exceeding the resources of governments and multi-lateral institutions as drivers of development.

Yet with this steady increase in economic power, there has been no equivalent rise in generally accepted accountability mechanisms.

Accountability is used here in the broadest sense-internal accountability among boards, management, and shareowners, and external accountability between corporations and society. The disjuncture between corporate power andì corporate accountability lies at the core of heated debates over the costs, benefits, and future of globalisation.

It is in this context that GRI has emerged as the leading initiative in building a new reporting infrastructure, designed to complement rather than displace financial reporting.

Expansion of capital and information markets continue to bring unprecedented opportunities for creation of new wealth at the same time they deepen scepticism among many that such wealth is exacerbating, rather than diminishing, social inequities.

The world is moving from an ‘international’ model of interaction, with nations the key points of power, to a ‘global’ model, where the locus of power is at once diffuse and networked. Transnational business organisations and their supply chains, borderless capital and information markets, and multifaceted networks of people are linked and mobilised by technology. It is increasingly clear that accountability structures of the last century are notadequate to meet the challenges of this new, interconnected world.

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