Anti-Corruption Activist Argues for New Era of Openness in Business

Published on March 25th, 2014 | by

anonymous companiesOne of the big dangers of the modern business world is that companies can be set up in a way that enables their ability to act in a virtually anonymous capacity, hiding behind shell companies and layers of ownership, which keeps the actual individuals behind the company free from prosecution for crimes committed by them.

From resource exploitation to money laundering, anonymous companies are responsible for a large number of disgraceful and greedy actions that take from others in order to enrich their holdings.

Charmian Gooch, of Global Witness, is the winner of the 2014 TED Prize, has expressed her TED wish, and it’s nothing short of audacious in its scope, and in its potential to change the landscape of big business:

“My wish is for us to know who owns and controls companies, so that they can no longer be used anonymously against the public good. Together, let’s ignite world opinion, change the law, and launch a new era of openness in business.”

“It truly is a scandal of epic proportions hidden in plain sight. It’s a simple truth that some of the people responsible for outrageous crimes — for stealing from me, you and millions of others — remain faceless and escape accountability. They do it with ease, using legal structures.” – Charmian Gooch

For more information on how these anonymous companies get set up in the first place, and continue to make crime and corruption pay, see this infographic on the TED blog, or find out more from Facebook or Global Witness.


About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!