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We’re moving, we’re just not moving fast enough

We need urgent collective action. Five accelerators can transform the systems by which we live, work and play.

Runaway climate change and rampant inequality threaten humanity and are costing a fortune. Here’s how Business can help lead us to a better future.

My Story

Business leader, climate and equalities campaigner.

You either make the dust, or you eat the dust.

was one of six children born in the Netherlands. My mother was a teacher and my father had an administrative job in a tyre factory. They taught us the importance of working hard and the basic values of dignity, respect, equity and compassion.

I finished my graduate studies in America at the University of Cincinnati, which I left with dual degrees in economics and business studies. It’s where I had the good fortune to meet Kim, my wife and the mother of our three boys.

I worked for three great companies in the years that followed: Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Unilever – all built to last. I learnt the power of creating value through different business models driven by clear values, and I learnt that serving all your stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, the planet and even future generations – is the best way to also serve your shareholders and build a thriving company over the long-term.

I was CEO of Unilever between 2009-19. Working with a tremendous team, we showed that responsible business models can go hand-in-hand with strong performance, raising top and bottom line growth and increasing shareholder returns by 290% while the company consistently ranked first in the world for sustainability, and one of the best places to work.

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