Who We Are

Shift is the leading center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  Founded in 2011, Shift's team of experts works globally with businesses, governments, civil society and international organizations to embed the Guiding Principles into practice. 

In July 2011, the Guiding Principles were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. This marked the successful conclusion of the mandate of the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. Our team was centrally involved in shaping and writing the Guiding Principles, and Prof. Ruggie is Chair of our Board of Trustees

Why "Shift"? 

During the development of the Guiding Principles, the team supporting Prof. Ruggie kept a "Shift List": interesting examples of how governments, businesses, civil society organizations, investors, law firms, international organizations and others started saying or doing things differently based on the UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework and, later, the draft Guiding Principles. So when it came to naming our new non-profit organization, established to support the "shift" from principles to practice, we knew exactly where to look for inspiration.