In recent years the topic of corporate governance has entered the agendas of many boards of directors. It is no longer a topic for idealists or academics; more and more corporate leaders are convinced by the necessity of it. Furthermore, it seems that since the recent financial crisis the debate has rapidly become a top priority, both for governments and companies.
Nevertheless, in the debates on corporate governance, quite often the focus remains rather narrow, with only encompassing issues like remuneration and the selection of board members. Much less attention is drawn to the implications of board and managerial decisions on the human dimensions. In addition to its focus on the unpredictability of the market, board members should also take into account which impact their decisions will have on the functioning and the behaviour of the company’s employees and the board itself. In other words, corporate governance questions have a people governance dimension. The 1st EPGC conference wants to address this theme and aims at developing a framework which can demonstrate how people governance support corporate governance.

The issue of people governance in the corporate setting is a vast multi-faceted subject which underlines the importance of meeting company objectives, especially economic objectives, through a process carried by the men and women participating in a dynamics that is shared and sustainable, with rights and duties. In this perspective, men and women are no longer seen as "capital" or "resources", but as active and responsible members within a complex system whose purpose is primarily economic. Hence, the concept doesn’t refer to "human resources management", even though it is an aspect of the question. Rather it provides insights on how corporate governance can be enhanced through the influence of the innumerable components of human nature. Reinforcing economic and human prospects, strengthening social-professional cohesion, enabling the company to be more fully aware of the realities and interactions of its people and mechanisms all add up to better decision-making and better governance.

During the EPGC conference 2009 the organizing committee wishes to bring together people from both the corporate and the academic world in order to discuss the different dimensions of People Governance.

Epegon Foundation and HR Tribune/RH Tribune

The Epegon Foundation (European People Governance Network) wishes to act on two fundamental principles:

  • People governance strengthens corporate governance;
  • Every institution becomes more efficacious and humanity when it espouses aspects of people governance in its decisions, strategies and actions.

These principles lead to four domains of activity:

  • To be focussed on practices of people governance and on the understanding of factors and actors that influence it. 
  • To raise awareness, and providing information on the meaning of and place to be accorded to people governance.
  • To underscore the initiatives and actions that help the knowledge and application of people governance move forward. 
  • To develop a common understanding of people governance values as practiced by the members coming from the various European countries.