In December 2019, Shift and the Finnish Presidency to the EU Council co-organized the conference ‘Business & Human Rights: Towards a Common Agenda for Action’, a space where businesses, government representatives and civil society organizations engaged in a multi-stakeholder dialogue to discuss business and human rights and, in particular, a collaborative and constructive way forward on this critical agenda.

In his initial remarks, Professor John Ruggie emphasized that while we often hear the term ‘smart mix’ being employed to mean voluntary measures, the concept is broader and should be understood to include mandatory measures. (Watch the full video)

During the conference, participants discussed the role of state financing in promoting human rights due diligence; the role of regulation in a smart mix to foster business respect for human rights; and the use of collective leverage and cooperation to improve human rights outcomes. The conference concluded with the launch of Agenda for Action -the outcome paper of the conference.