Global Agenda: Embracing the Enemy is Good Business

A few years ago, Dr. Daniel Vasella, the swiss CEO of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, told an American interviewer that his firm was going to have to spend a lot more time talking to NGOs. The journalist's response: "What's an NGO?"

Let's hope he knows now. NGOs—nongovernmental organizations—have won significant influence over global companies. The demonstrations against global capitalism at the G-8 summit in Genoa were the latest manifestation of a trend that—mostly quietly and behind the scenes—is defining our age. From companies like the coffee shop giant Starbucks (attacked for the treatment of workers on plantations and...

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