Hot Topic - Fellows Define How Businesses Can Promote Inclusive Growth

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May 02, 2019
by Yasmina Ghandour
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Hot Topic - Fellows Define How Businesses Can Promote Inclusive Growth

Salzburg Global Fellows share their views during the Salzburg Global program Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health? Photo from Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

A select number of Fellows at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health? were asked: What are simple and effective measures businesses could take to promote inclusive growth? We have published their answers below.

“I think engagement is very key... [the] public sector and politicians that want to promote inclusive growth will also need to translate their ideas into businesses language and into terms that they can use and measure and put into practical use. And I think there must be a collaboration, because at the end of the day, for me what it really comes down to is: inclusive growth promotes happier populations and workforces, and this is not an externality for a business. This is internal and intrinsic to their workforce and their productivity....it’s a conversation that needs to be had.”

Miriam Brooks

Intern at the Health Foundation, working within the Healthy Lives Team

“Businesses should think about the social value of what they’re doing. So, I like the idea of the B-Corp... businesses which have a financial bottom line, a social bottom line, and an environmental bottom line. Practically, what does that mean? It means thinking about your recruitment processes, so having blinded recruitment, having no jargon in your job adverts... thinking about the footprint of your business both in terms of its geographical footprint but also its footprint within communities of interest... thinking in a proactive way about how you form partnerships with the places where you’re coming into as a business...”

Justin Varney

Director of public health for Birmingham City Council

“A good measurement framework should first contain pure health and well-being outcomes observed among workers. For instance: days of sickness, life satisfaction, job satisfaction, positive and negative effects, such as experienced stressed, worry, anger or happiness. Health outcome measures are necessary but not sufficient statistics... Broadly speaking, there are three channels through which business can impact on worker’s health. The first one is [the] quality of the working environment, which can be defined as a balance between the demands to which workers can be subject, and the resources that they benefit from... the second channel of impact for business upon health is inclusive human resources policies... the third pillar is the depth and scope of social dialogue that should take place. Does it take care of occupational health for instance? These are the three pillars that in my view should constitute a good measurement framework to capture the impact of business upon health.”

Fabrice Murtin

Head of section at the OECD in the Households Statistics and Progress Measurement Division

“I think it’s important that businesses work with different sectors, especially to understand the needs of civil society and also their consumers. Especially for pharmaceutical companies, it’s important to understand the patients’ needs really at the grassroot level and actually have the experience to work with them on health policy issues, even away from their product or their services that they’re providing...”

Hiroko Nishimoto

Member of the Health and Global Policy Institute, visiting researcher at the Dept. of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo, and advisor to Modulus Discovery Inc.

“I would move to the way in which a business conducts its core functions. So looking at supply chains, looking at employees, and looking at workplace well-being interventions, looking at income, income inequalities of its staff, and looking at the work environment around policies for inclusion and respect, and... reducing bullying and harassment. All of these things have a toll on people and thus later on the economy as well...”

Yannish Naik

Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?, is part of the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. More information on this multi-year series is available here.