Who We Are
Shift is an independent, non-profit center for business and human rights practice. We help governments, businesses and their stakeholders put the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into practice. We share our learning by developing public guidance materials that help build the field globally.
We were established in July 2011, following the unanimous endorsement of the Guiding Principles by the UN Human Rights Council, which marked the successful conclusion of the mandate of the 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 UN Guiding Principles, and Prof. Ruggie is Chair of our Board of Trustees.
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.