Ending corruption: Mohamed Amersi outlines Ten Corporate Commandments

On Day 1 of the One Young World Summit 2017, Mohamed Amersi, Founder & CEO of Emergent Telecom Ventures and Head of the Amersi Foundation, outlined the 10 guiding principles that effectively build a better, safer, inclusive and prosperous world without corruption.

Abolishing corruption is often led by a ‘coalition of concerned’ – by politicians and senior government officials, the private sector, and by citizens, communities, and civil society organisations,” he stated.  

What is the best way to lead ethical business? On Day 1 of the One Young World Summit 2017, Mohamed Amersi, Founder & CEO of Emergent Telecom Ventures and Head of the Amersi Foundation, outlined the 10 guiding principles that effectively build a better, safer, inclusive and prosperous world free of corruption.

1) Thou shall Produce Goods and Services for the Common Good

Produce goods and services that facilitate human flourishing and dignity rather than “bads” that cause addictions, diseases, environmental degradation, and other harms. To meet real human needs rather than false needs created by advertising.   

2) Thou shall Promote Sustainable Development

“Be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are the globally agreed goals between now and 2030.”

3) Thou shall Extend Responsibility to All Stakeholders

Adopt a fiduciary duty not only to shareholders but to global stakeholders including workers, suppliers, customers, the environment, and society at large. Do not seek profits from harm to others; do not lobby against the common good; and support countervailing institutions such as unions and civic organizations.   

4) Thou shall Act in Accordance with the Universal Destination of Goods

The universal destination of goods means that private property rights are not inviolate; they must accord with the moral commitment to the common good and dignity for all.  Firms should defend human dignity, for example by prioritizing decent wages and work conditions over extra profits, and by making special efforts to employ the marginalized and excluded, including minorities, refugees, and indigenous communities.

5) Thou shall Eliminate all forms of Modern Slavery

Eliminate all forms of modern slavery, especially forced labor, prostitution, and organ trafficking within the company’s and the sector’s supply chain. Develop and disseminate innovative models, best practices and indicators to help end these crimes. Provide jobs and training to former victims of modern slavery proportionate to workforce size.

6) Thou shall Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Embed environmental sustainability in core business models. Accept that the main cause of climate change is human activity based on the use of fossil fuels, and pay the full social cost of using shared environmental resources, noting that environmental sustainability is a necessary condition for economic activity to be considered ethical. Commit to becoming carbon neutral by using clean energy sources and to eliminating all forms of environmental degradation, including pollution and oil spills.

7) Thou shall Link Profit to Social Benefit

Internalize the idea that profit-making at the expense of others is illegitimate, and that legitimate profits must be linked to the provision of a true social benefit. In this context, end negative externalities of the firm, and consider the allocation of a clear part of the company’s profits to support the common good, especially the poor.

8) Thou shall Commit to Responsible CEO Compensation

Set compensation schemes for CEOs and senior executives based on such factors as avoiding social harms (ending pollution), respecting the law, ending self-seeking lobbying, and contribution of the company to the SDGs. Keep a reasonable balance of the pay of the CEO and the workers in the firm, and publish the income differentials between management and workers.  

9) Thou shall Not Seek Or Exploit Monopoly Power

Do not seek to create or exploit monopoly power and monopoly rents, accept and cultivate a healthy balance between corporate competition and collaboration, and support antitrust efforts at the national and international level to ensure a competitive environment where market power is limited.

10) Thou shall Not Bribe, Evade Taxes, or Commit Financial Fraud

Do not avoid or evade taxes, take bribes, offer bribes, or engage in any kind of financial corruption or malfeasance. Support the elimination of tax havens all across the world, and promote greater transparency, stricter reporting standards, and stronger criminal penalties for corporate managers and Board members in cases of corruption and criminal fraud.