Those who look back at the outcomes of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) with a sense of scepticism tend to underestimate the immensity of the agenda we tackled. The sceptics also undervalue the many small but significant events that took place during the preparatory process and the Summit itself. Two such significant events were those of the United Nations Global Compact (GC) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), both principles-based initiatives that advance an open-learning and communicating-progress approach to corporate responsibility. In Johannesburg the newly institutionalised GRI launched its 2002 revised Guidelines for Sustainability Reporting. The UN Secretary-General hosted a high-level multi-stakeholder dialogue of the GC on the theme ‘Growing Sustainable Business in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs): Supporting Sustainable Entrepreneurship’. This presented the first occasion for some heads of state to join a multi-stakeholder panel with representatives from business, labour and the NGO community to discuss the role of business in sustainable development. The GRI event, among others addressed by UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer and Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson, reminded its diverse audience of the role the apartheid struggle played during the 1980s in raising the international debate on the societal responsibilities of corporations.