Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, will speak at the International Conference on the Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity (Rotterdam, November 29 – 30). Co-hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the event brings together leaders from the worlds of business, government, NGOs and academia to discuss the transition towards more responsive and responsible leadership.
The conference will pay particular attention to the Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership – an initiative started in 2016, with Philips as a founding signatory, that aims to create a corporate governance framework with a focus on the long-term sustainability of corporations and the long-term goals of society. In his speech, Mr. Van Houten will pose the question whether business ‘has what it takes’ to balance long-term sustainability and societal goals against short-term business objectives, and provide a Philips perspective on the necessary business transformation and governance.
“Companies only exist by the grace of their customers, so today’s CEOs must weigh the need for competitive performance against their company’s reputation as a trustworthy player and lasting relevance to society,” said Frans van Houten. “Achieving that balance requires a long-term strategy and the leadership to put purpose before short-term gain. We need to jointly develop a governance framework that better supports companies in being able to demonstrate their sustainability and societal benefit. At Philips we have a ‘North Star’ approach – a fixed and guiding mission to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation.”
In a panel discussion titled ‘Dilemmas and Opportunities for Inclusive Prosperity’, which will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Jan Peter Balkenende, Professor of Governance, Institutions and Internationalization at Erasmus University Rotterdam and former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. van Houten will discuss the need for a 360-degree approach that integrates financial performance metrics with diversity, business ethics, environmental concerns and risk management into a long-term corporate governance model.