As different countries find themselves at various stages of grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, some are turning their sights towards recovery. Many leaders are taking this rebuilding moment as the time to rethink and reimagine what economies could look like – and if things can be done differently, and perhaps better. To that end, a coalition of global CEOs has formed, and they are using their collective power and voice to advocate for a different type of future.
This week, a coalition of global CEOs has released an open letter committing to work towards the creation of an inclusive and sustainable economy post-COVID. The group, called Leaders on Purpose, includes CEOs from Danone, Interface, L’Oréal, Mastercard, Natura, Philips and others. The letter calls on governments to join these business leaders in pledging to “build back better” instead of simply “building back.” To do this, the coalition is committing to “address the current structural barriers to an inclusive and sustainable economy and to unleash the full potential of all sectors.” The group looks to broaden “economic recovery and development strategies in order to catalyze the power of Purpose-first businesses” – and the open letter recommends six different ways to achieve this while calling on others to join the movement. As a stamp of approval for the Leaders on Purpose, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman stated, “Our world was a dangerous and troubled place even before COVID-19 took hold. 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.”
The pandemic and continued social unrest have put many things in focus – exposing existing ills in our past patterns and ways of thinking, living and doing business. Yet, it also creates an opportunity to rethink a better world and a brighter way of moving forward. The Leaders on Purpose is just another signal that the globe is ready to reimagine our world through a Purpose-driven lens.