Reviews and Articles


“Provocative and challenging The Social License makes a compelling case for why companies must look to increase their positive social impact as an integral part of their core business strategies.”

-Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever plc

“John Morrison has led significant initiatives on business and human rights over recent years.  Now his book takes some of that collective experience and orders it conceptually in a way that is accessible and makes an important point about the social licence of corporations to operate.”

– Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change

“In this provocative book, John Morrison takes us beyond CSR into the realm of ‘the social license’ and how it is earned, and then all the way to the social contract on which any sustainable societal order ultimately must rest. The intellectual journey is well worth the while.”

– John G. Ruggie, Professor of Human Rights and International Affairs, Harvard University; former United Nations Special Representative for Business and Human Rights

The Social License is fundamentally about accountability to people and not just powerful interests. John Morrison’s book reminds all organizations – governments, business and civil society – to focus on the legitimacy of their own actions.”

– Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International

“John Morrison has written a thought provoking, path-finding book that should be essential reading for any corporate executive seeking to achieve a growing, sustainable business.  It sets out a textured, multi-layered, challenging framework that is foundational to maintaining a social license in a social media world of increasing and rising expectations.”

– Ed Potter, Director, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company

“My three words to describe John Morrison’s book: Timely ­– because what used to be acceptable behaviour by business a few decades ago is no longer the case today and because social license is much more than CSR; Targeted – because it reaches out not only to business but also governments and civil society; Trustworthy – because with his vast experience and knowledge John Morrison, convinces us both theoretically and practically. A book to be read, discussed, and used!”

-Margot Wallstrom, (now Swedish Foreign Minister) former Vice President of the European Commission; former UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict


Interview with Toby Webb (9 September 2014) Innovation Forum (well known writer and researcher on CSR issues) 

Paul Hohnen  (22 September 2014)  The Smarter Business Blog  (International adviser and former Director of Greenpeace International and Australian diplomat).

Roel Nieuwenkamp (24 September 2014)  Friends of the OECD Guidelines  (Dutch diplomat and Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct)

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart (28 September 2014)  Lawyers for Better Business (former chair of Shell and Anglo American, currently chair of the Global Compact Foundation and Hermes Equity)


John Morrison (29 September 2014) The Guardian “Business and society: defining the ‘social licence'”, Guardian Sustainable Business.

John Morrison (21 October 2014) YaleGlobal “Government Approval Not Enough: Businesses Need Social License”, MacMillan Center, Yale.

John Morrison (27 October 2014) Outlook India “The Social Licence”, Delhi, India.

John Morrison (29 October 2014) The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce “Do politicians need a social licence?”, London, UK.

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