Published 3 years ago.
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Image: United Nations COVID-19 Response/Unsplash
In an open letter, the group of 14 CEOs calls on governments to accelerate such a transition by recognizing and supporting purpose-first business as an emerging fourth sector of the economy.
A new coalition of global leaders including the CEOs of
Philips and 8 other companies — representing a combined annual revenue of
over US$100 billion and a combined global workforce of over 500,000 — today
endorsed a post-COVID roadmap to “build the economic system better.”
Building on a wave of recent purpose-driven business declarations — including
the Business Roundtable’s redefinition of the purpose of a
to one in which business promotes “an economy that serves all”; and LEAD on
which saw 300 business leaders calling on the US Congress to address recovery
from the climate and COVID crises in tandem — the goal of the new roadmap is to
create an inclusive and sustainable economy that benefits society, the planet
and shareholders for generations to come.
In an open letter, the
group of fourteen CEOs — which have formed a for-benefit organization called
Leaders on Purpose — called on governments
to accelerate such a transition by recognizing and supporting purpose-first
business as an emerging fourth sector of the economy.
Governments around the world are debating economic and social policies designed
to jumpstart the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; the governments
of Canada and the European Union have already put sustainability
strategies front and
in their post-COVID recovery plans. Now, Leaders on Purpose’s “Build It Better”
framework aims to guide public and private
sector leaders toward innovation in public policy, as well as corporate and
financial structures, to accelerate the growth of the purpose-first economy.
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The signatories have also committed to advance the purpose-first economy by
leveraging their procurement, innovation, R&D and investment to accelerate the
growth of this fourth sector. The letter provides a practical roadmap for
proactively redesigning corporate structures and government policies in the
development of a more supportive ecosystem for organizations that operate under
a new business logic — and urges governments and other companies to join them.
On August 19, the group will also launch the Fourth Sector Policy
Hackathon, gathering experts and
innovators from across the world to develop actionable policy solutions to
critical challenges faced by governments, business, civil society, finance and
other sectors in the wake of the pandemic.
“Our world was a dangerous and troubled place even before COVID-19 took hold,”
former CEO of Unilever, who is now working on transforming the structural
impediments to sustainable business. “We have the chance to rebuild a fairer,
greener society. But to do so, we need courageous business leaders who are
willing to act, individually and as a collective. It’s why I applaud the
signatories of this letter. No company alone can solve the problems we face. But
together we can begin to challenge the orthodoxies which got us here. Together
we can help the world change.”
In addition to the CEOs of the companies listed above, the group includes
Alan Murray (Fortune Media), Anand Mahindra (Mahindra
Mahindra), Mike Doyle (Omnicom-Ketchum), Dylan Taylor
(Voyager Space Holdings), Feike Sijbesma (DSM), Dr. James
Mwangi (Equity Bank), John Denton (ICC), and Stefan De
Published Aug 11, 2020 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST