Business for Purpose Network (B4PN). Weekly Announcements

4 min readNov 17, 2021

#35 (July 30, 2021) and #34 (July 23, 2021)

Compiled by Allyson Hewitt, VP Impact, MaRS Discovery District.

Weekly Announcement #35. July 30, 2021

#ONE — Trend Watch

The C-suite job of the future: Chief Purpose Officer. Erica Pandey, author of What’s Next as shared in AXIOS. July 21, 2021. “To appease employees, customers and shareholders alike, companies are spending time and money grappling with huge social problems like systemic racism, income inequality and climate change.”

“Look for even more firms to create jobs — both executive and rank-and-file roles — around purpose as the pressure from inside and outside companies to do good keeps intensifying,” says Kwasi Mitchell, Deloitte’s Chief Purpose Officer, “You can’t sit on the sidelines anymore.” Thanks to B4PN Advisor Emeritus, Tim Draimin for this article.

#TWO — International Forum of the Americas

The Conference of Montreal will go fully virtual on September 13–16, 2021. For this special occasion, the International Economic Forum of the Americas is pleased to offer you a complimentary pass so you can virtually attend all the sessions of the chosen day.

Click here to view the full program. Click here to view the list of speakers. Click here to complete your registration (registration ends August 27, 2021)

Sessions of particular interest to the B4PN community:

· Monday, September 13 at 1:20 pm — building shared prosperity; 2 pm — stakeholder capitalism; and 4:30 pm — the importance of purpose.

· Wednesday, September 15 at 12:00 pm — the future of good.

#THREE — Beyond Greenwashing & Purpose-washing

New Rulebook Helps Companies Validate Their Sustainability Claims. Sustainable Brands. July 22, 2021. A potential indicator of things to come: “The Provenance Framework debuts as the UK government cracks down on greenwashing, and competition regulators find that up to 40% of firms’ environmental claims could be misleading.”

#FOUR — The Purpose of Your Business

Do you know the Role of Your Business in Society? By our own Coro Strandberg. Competent Boards. July 5, 2021. In this article, Coro profiles her research in The Future of Business in Society as commissioned by ESDC and published in March 2021. Her 5-step roadmap, abbreviated:

1. Adopt a social purpose as the reason you exist

2. Set the course for your company to transform its business model

3. Identify and collaborate with the influencers in your sector and value-chain

4. Determine how your company can use its influence

5. Agree on a game plan to become regenerative, restorative, socially just and a beacon of hope for your employees and partners

#FIVE — Growth with Purpose

Fast Company’s Executive Board recently published a list of 8 ways to balance your business’s growth with social responsibility. Of particular interest is recommendation #3: Define your Higher Purpose. “Define a strong purpose for your organization that articulates your social responsibility and the positive impact you wish to have on the world. Look for inspiration from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and quantify your impact.”

quote of the week

Fast Company found that ‘CEOs who use purpose across their organization are more likely to see very practical perks when it comes to growth and long-term value creation.’ Employees want to feel that their work matters and is contributing to something worthwhile.” – Esther Choy, Forbes, July 21, 2021

Weekly Announcement #34. July 23, 2021

#ONE — Watch It Back

Building Inclusion from the ground up: A Next Economy conversation with Kalen Taylor. Centre for Social Innovation. July 18, 2021. Social Entrepreneur Kalen Taylor discusses how Purpose Construction is weaving social enterprise, innovative social finance tools, and affordable housing to create positive social impact in what they believe to be a replicable, scalable manner. (Video, ~1 hour, if short on time, tune in at 45:30 to hear about how this purposeful work has a foundation upon which to grow)

#TWO — Retaining Impact Talent

Hybrid Workforces: Three Tips To Retain Talent And Impact Your Community. Forbes. July 14, 2021. With almost half of employees looking for a new job in 2021, organizations must stay competitive by finding ways to help both current and prospective employees engage and connect. At Okta, Chief People Officer Kristina Johnson has done just that, by reimagining the ways they approach social impact as a company. She states that social impact is “no longer a nice to have” but rather, a “need to have.”

#THREE — Canadian Purpose Leadership

Mark Carney on a values-led economy. strategy+business. July 14, 2021. An interview with Mark Carney about the shape of the recovery and how businesses can contribute to a purposeful future. He argues against an economy in which “the price of everything is becoming the value of everything,” and for a vision, in line with prevailing trends in business, in which corporations and markets make returns for shareholders, but whose core purpose is to “improve our lives, expand our horizons, and solve society’s problems, both large and small.”

#FOUR — Executive Education on Purpose

The Oxford Economics of Mutuality Executive Education Program from Oxford’s Saïd Business School is open to all organizations across sectors and geographies. Previously delivered to select partners only, the program is a fully online opportunity that will “equip you to handle the duty and the opportunity to reposition the corporation positively, in ways that reflect the changing needs of society and the planet.” One of the three key ideas behind Oxford’s Economics of Mutuality is the primacy of purpose in driving strategy. Purpose-based business education is not mainstream but with top post-secondary institutions leading by example, hopefully there’s more to come.

#FIVE — Research (International)

The Enacting Purpose Initiative released its second report targeting Directors and Investors: Building on Common Ground to Advance Sustainable Capitalism. Based on interviews with corporate directors and investors, it provides guidance on defining and measuring corporate purpose, distinguishing ESG from purpose and how to foster dialogue between investors and stakeholders on corporate purpose. Thanks to Coro Strandberg for sharing this resource.

quote of the week

“There is now a general recognition of the need for an alignment of stakeholder value, or said a different way, of purposeful companies.”

– Mark Carney, Canadian Economist




CEO Enactus Canada. Past: VP, Impact MaRS. Lecturer MBET, U Waterloo. Thinker in Residence, Australia. Social entrepreneurship, Business for Purpose (B4PN)