The challenges of the 21st century are immense: implementing a more sustainable development model, maintaining markets and societies as open as possible, deploying entrepreneurial dynamism in the service of the common good, boosting employment, reindustrializing Western countries while promoting the development of emerging countries. … How can we better focus our extraordinary creative capacity to meet the challenges ahead?If there is a key trend in our time, it is that of the progress of science and technology. This trend has become a steamroller, whatever the vagaries of history and economic conditions. It is enterprise that transforms, often as soon as they emerge, scientific knowledge and technologies into products and services. By mastering the methods and tools of techno-science, it has the power of knowledge behind its economic strategies. Techno-science constantly provides new opportunities and more powerful competitive weapons. Enterprise is therefore the main mediator between science and society. Yet is it an agent of progress?This essay explores the key role enterprise could play in the transformation of the economic system. By changing its culture, it can be a powerful tool to better meet the global challenges of our century. De Woot proposes that a spirit of enterprise, creativity and innovation are necessary responses to societal challenges. Although the current economic model is the source of major deviations, enterprise in the broadest sense can help correct many of them. From *problem* it can become *solution*.
Author’s noteIntroduction1. Drifts and deviations of the market economy1.1 A high-performing model1.2 Globalisation and autonomy of economic power1.2.1 Increasing power of economic players1.2.2 Power disconnected from politics and ethics1.3 Unwanted systemic effects, drifts and deviations1.3.1 Damage to the planet1.3.2 Poverty, inequality, precariousness1.3.3 Weakening of social ties1.3.4 Financial domination1.3.5 Behavioural drift2. Rethinking the purpose of business2.1 Economic creativity: specific function of business enterprise2.2 Ambiguity of economic and technical creativity2.3 Transforming creativity into progress3. A responsible entrepreneurial culture3.1 Restoring ethical and civic dimensions to corporations3.1.1 Back to ethics3.1.2 Back to citizenship and the ‘political’3.2 Areas of progress: entrepreneurship, leadership, statesmanship3.2.1 Entrepreneurship: the entrepreneur, creator of progress and not just profit3.2.2 Leadership: leaders, architects of creativity and collective consciousness3.2.3 Statesmanship: executives as citizens, societal dimension and new consultation