The Elk: world’s leading CSR thinkerApril 2009
John Elkington has emerged in a new poll as the world’s number one corporate responsibility ‘thought leader’.
Elkington, founder of the SustainAbility consultancy and widely known as ‘the Elk’, has written and talked about responsible business conduct for 30 years. He leads the rankings compiled by the networking group CSR International.
Voters around the world were able to choose from a list of nominated figures on the group’s website, and could add names of their own. In number two spot was Simon Zadek, chief executive of the AccountAbility think tank, with Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, in third place.
In other categories of this year’s experimental poll, which attracted 496 voters, Body Shop founder Anita Roddick headed the ‘business leaders’ ranking, John Ruggie was the leading CSR academic, and Naomi Klein was the top activist.
Each year from now on there will be a time-limited poll, with voting open for one month, that will create a single ‘CSR International Leaders Ranking’ for that year – with no categories. This will then be turned into a live poll throughout the year, to gain a cumulative picture.
Among the more interesting entrants this year was Diana Verde Nieto, founder of the Clownfish consultancy, who stood top of the ‘advisory leaders’ ranking ahead of Forum for the Future head Jonathan Porritt. Top political leader was Al Gore.
Others to make a showing were C.K. Prahalad, Indian proponent of ‘bottom of the pyramid’ programmes, and the Pakistani economist and microfinance guru Muhammad Yunus.
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