Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi. [PHOTO - COURTESY]

Dr. James Mwangi has joined a league of fourteen global chief executive officers (CEOs) who have committed to champion cross–sector collaboration in the creation of a purpose-first economy. In a global call to action, the letter outlines their vision for a new global economy that is more equal, inclusive and sustainable as well as more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and many other challenges that the world is facing. The CEOs’ open letter has been endorsed by the UN Secretary General António Guterres, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and OECD Development Co-operation Director Jorge Moreira da Silva among others.

 Dr. Mwangi joined the CEOs of Mastercard, Fortune Media, Mahindra, Interface, Voyager, Danone, DSM, Philips, L’Oréal, International Chamber of Commerce, Ketchum PR, Natura & Co. as well as  Beiersdorf in calling on businesses, governments and development actors to join them in accelerating the transition towards an inclusive, resilient, sustainable economy that recognizes and enables purpose-first businesses to thrive. “Rather than ’build it back’, we are choosing to ’build it better,” states the joint signatories in the commitment letter. They have also called on global leaders to join them:  “We commit to playing our role in supporting the growth of the purpose-first economy and we urge you to join us.”The letter says that purpose-first enterprises will constitute the fourth economy at the intersection of the three traditional economies: the private, public and non-profit sectors. The global corporate leaders represent a combined annual revenue of over $100 billion USD and a global workforce of over 500,000.

They have proposed a roadmap to build the economic system better after Covid-19 pandemic.  In signing the letter, Dr. Mwangi stated :  “The current state of the world economy, as evidenced by the inequality revealed by the Covid-19 pandemic, has left business leaders with only one choice;  to recognize that the world system only works for a few and not the majority of the  population. This demonstrates that the economic and social system we have relied on is broken. We must, as a cohesive stakeholder community of leaders, address this inequality and serve humanity in a more productive and concerted way.”

Dr. Mwangi joins other leaders in calling upon governments, corporates and the UN system in  creating  new policies and incentives to spur sustainable and inclusive economic growth, yielding a healthy society within planetary boundaries, for generations to come. Prior to signing the open letter, the signatory CEOs worked with the Leaders on Purpose team that comprises experts from Harvard University, Unilever, The World Bank  and The London School of Economics on a white paper focused on purpose driven businesses that will be released at the third Annual Leaders on Purpose CEO Summit taking place on the sidelines of the 2020 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).



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