1. Why Future-Fit?

If you want to build a ship, don’t call people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

How can we ensure our common future is one we want?

Our ability to connect with each other and to manipulate the world around us has never been greater. How must we channel this potential to usher in a future that allows people and planet to thrive?

The actions we take in the next few years are critical. So, what should steer those actions? Which of our possible futures would be preferable?

Imagine a future in which no company undermines the wellbeing of people or the planet, where business is considered universally as a force for good. Where the more profitable companies are, the more they are celebrated – not just by their shareholders, but by everyone – because those companies clearly and credibly articulate how each dollar they earn creates value for society as a whole.

In this future, we live in harmony with nature: today’s take-make-waste approach has been supplanted by a borrow-use-return approach. "Growth" is synonymous not with higher GDP, but with increasing trust, greater equity, healthier lives, and richer ecosystems. In their pursuit of growth, all companies strive to ensure that every person contributing to their success is afforded the opportunity to learn, grow and lead fulfilling lives.

In this future, society becomes ever more socially just, economically inclusive, and environmentally restorative, because all key actors are working collaboratively, consciously and continuously to the same end: the removal of barriers to our collective progress.

This is a vision of a Future-Fit Society: one serviced by an economy of Future-Fit Businesses, each playing its part to create the conditions required for humanity to flourish within the carrying capacity of our finite planet.

This is no Utopia – people will sicken, crimes will occur, accidents will happen – but it is a compelling and plausible vision.

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark is a free tool to help companies pursue this vision.