Chapter 3

Define your world



It was over ten years ago that, John (now Lord) Browne, then chief executive of BP, spoke at the British Museum on the responsibility of business and, in particular, considered the significance of being alert to the world. He used museum exhibits from ancient Venice, one of his personal passions, to tell the story of business in the archipelago, with lessons on long-term sustainability and why once the merchants of Venice lost their sense of purpose in the world they lost their regional dominance of trade.

He cited the scene in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice where one businessman asks another, ...

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