An Evolutionary Nexus Between Private & Charitable Corporate Governance. Can charities provide thought leadership to a private sector that is questioning the norm of shareholder primacy?

Anna White, General Counsel, EIT Climate-KIC, UK

The ongoing debate over the merits of shareholder primacy versus a stakeholder based approach to corporate governance continues to foster active discussion and engagement across the legal and wider community in the UK and globally. Rather than dive into the depths of this debate, particularly given greater minds have indeed explored it in much detail, the purpose of this short note is to encourage an additional source of inspiration for stakeholder theory proponents. Namely, the charity sector. For centuries, charitable organisations have operated with an object and purpose beyond maximisation of value to founders. This deep history in strategic steerage somewhat agnostic to financial and ownership orientation means there is a unique opportunity for charitable organisations to cross pollinate the private sector and lead new ways of thinking around stakeholder inclusive corporate governance practises.

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Charity Energy October 2020 Vol.13, No. 53, Autumn 2020

Anna White


Yale Law School LLM, now General Counsel to Europe's leading public/private climate innovation initiative

EIT Climate-KIC


EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s climate innovation initiative, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon and resilient world by enabling systems transformation. Headquartered in Amsterdam, it operates from 13 hubs across Europe and is active in 39 countries. EIT Climate-KIC was established in 2010 and is predominately funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. As a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), it brings together more than 400 partners from business, academia, the public and non-profit sectors to create networks of expertise, through which innovative products, services and systems are developed, brought to market and scaled-up for impact.

Charity Energy October 2020 Vol.13, No. 53, Autumn 2020

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