Trust and Governance: where to now?


2nd Feb 2022





Virtual Bristol Distinguished Address Series: Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford, Chair, Shakespeare’s Globe

The climate emergency and social inequality are profound and pressing problems, thrown into sharp relief by the COVID crisis, that can only be solved if we harness the enormous potential of entrepreneurs, innovation and enterprise.

The world needs business at its best – creating good jobs, helping to fix pressing problems and adding value to society. But at precisely this point in history, trust in business is low and examples abound of poor governance leading not just to poor business outcomes but harmful damage to communities and the environment. We don’t need to accept these outcomes as inevitable, but rather strive to do better in our boardrooms. Voters, consumers and investors expect this now. Research shows that UK voters and consumers want business to do better. Three quarters of the UK public think business has a responsibility to protect the environment and the majority favour brands that do good in the world.

What do we mean by better? This means freeing decision-makers in business to act in everyone’s long term interests – combining traditions of good stewardship and responsibility with new ideas to meet the challenges of the 21st century. There is evidence that business in the UK has taken the lead in reforming its practices around purpose, but we need the statutes and policies to ensure these become the norm. Specifically, this means putting purpose at the heart of company law and the fiduciary responsibility of directors.

A small change in the law will make a big change in the world. It will allow businesses to make decisions in all of our long term interests, helping to create a fairer, greener future.

Discuss this event on Twitter using the hashtag #BristolLectures.


  • 18:25 – Join the event online
  • 18:30 – Lecture begins
  • 18:30 – 18:40 – UWE Welcome and Introductions
  • 18:40 – 19:10 – Address
  • 19:10 – 19:45 – Q&A Session

Event Format

This event will take place online only. The University is currently restricting events on campus to help control the spread of the transmission and we must continue to play our role in reducing the spread of the virus. We hope to be back to in person events for the Autumn series, thank you for your understanding.

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About University of the West of England

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