The Great Transformation - Transparency Offensive

Published on: Mar 18, 2021Entrepreneurship Summit
Entrepreneurship Campus

By Entrepreneurship Campus

Transparenz Offensive

Only a transparent economy is a good economy. The more people can know about how a company works, how a product is made, the better they can reconcile their values ​​and consumption. A transparency offensive leads to more fairness and more sustainability - and thus not only to a better economy, but also to a better society.

Actually, the thought seems quite simple. In order to be successful in business, I have to do everything to satisfy my customers. The better my products are and the cheaper I can offer them, the better my chances of being successful with my company should be. There are quite a few companies that talk about this in their mission statement.

But do the best and cheapest products really catch on? And are such companies the most successful? In theory: yes. In practice: no. In the model of a functioning market economy, with full transparency, complete information and rational behavior of all participants, the best and cheapest product wins. Reality, as we all know, is often different.

Being fully transparent does not come naturally to most companies. Many can only exist at all because they do not show how they really do business. In recent decades, the globalized world of goods flows and increasingly complex supply chains have been an invitation to act with little fairness and transparency.

How can trust develop in an economy that is becoming more and more abstract and complex? The answer: through transparency. Trust needs closeness. And transparency can create this closeness. In some areas of the economy there are also intensive efforts to achieve transparency - for example with regard to accounting standards, the fight against corruption (as with Transparency International) or for supply chains without exploitation (as with Oxfam). However, our understanding of transparency encompasses all areas of the economy: transparency in product quality, transparency in the supply chain, resource consumption, the ecological backpack, the marketing backpack, but above all transparency in price calculation.

More transparency means better economy: an economy that you can see through and that the individual can also judge. A high degree of transparency would help the best products to prevail on the market. Economic activities should be based on values ​​that serve people and conserve resources. Transparency helps us – and you – to recognize such values ​​and also to live these values.
Transparency is lived enlightenment.

Does enlightenment have a future? There are examples. However, we need a little courage, to modify a sentence by Kant, to use the Enlightenment.
We're still in the minority. But companies like the Teekampf have prevailed not in spite of, but precisely because of their educational character: fair for everyone involved. Be transparent and openly discuss what such fairness means. The example of the tea campaign shows that it is rewarded in the long run if you consistently side with transparency. Fair to the manufacturers and fair to nature. The lowest possible ecological backpack, almost no marketing backpack, and an open calculation that is understandable for everyone and that is fair to the customers.

Today there is a whole range of tendencies that amplify this positive effect. One of these trends is the rising level of education. We are more problem-aware than we used to be, are more informed, have knowledge of quality standards and recognize overly clumsy advertising and its marketing lyrics. Today we can compare much more and better. Online portals and product tests allow buyers to become more enlightened and sophisticated. Many of them are grateful when companies make visible and credible efforts to manufacture good and durable products, attach particular importance to the ecological footprint, or take into account the working and income conditions in the producing countries.

The more transparent an industry is, the better chances there are for the providers with the best products. And that means: the better the chances for entrepreneurship. Because then a single entrepreneur is enough to turn an entire industry upside down. Better quality and better value for money prevail – the competition has to follow if they don't want to lose a large number of their customers.

The more transparent an economy is, the fairer and more sustainable it will be. Because the more people can know about how a company works, how a product is made, the better they can reconcile their values ​​and their consumption - use their banknotes as ballots for a better, fairer economy. And so transparency not only leads to a better economy, but also to a better society.

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