Business for Purpose Network (B4PN) Weekly Announcements #46 to #49

AllysonHewitt
11 min readNov 17, 2021

Publishing back issues of the B4PN Weekly Announcements. If you would like to join our mailing list, please contact me at ahewitt@marsdd.com or check out back issues on my LinkedIn.

Weekly Announcement #46. October 15, 2021

#ONE — Future of the Corporation Resources

We have been keeping you up to date on the work of The British Academy Future of the Corporation Programme (WA #42) and we are pleased to report the resources are now all available online. In addition to the release of the Report entitled Policy and Practice for Purposeful Business (available for download) you can check out the launch video for the Report.

Are you pining for more Downton Abbey or The Crown? Then check out these YouTube recordings. Incredible content, great accents, and so much for us to learn from.

· How can the professions integrate purposeful business into qualifications and practice?

· How can universities integrate purposeful business into teaching and the student experience?

· How can business schools integrate purposeful business into teaching and research?

· How can the tech sector apply purposeful business?

#TWO — International Forum of the Americas

The videos from these Forums in Montreal and Miami are now available online and the invite for the upcoming Forum in Toronto (November 8–10, 2021) is now available for registration, with some in-person seats also an option. Entitled: Redefining a New Prosperity, the Toronto Global Forum tickets are available for free to our community. Register here.

The videos offer lots of relevant sessions to check out from the comfort of your home office including: How Can Business Lead Sustainable Change / Fixing Capitalism / The Rise of Sustainable Finance / Building Shared Prosperity and so much more.

#THREE — Magnify Your Impact. Power your profit with purpose

Maggie Z. Miller and Hannah Nokes have written a book that “goes behind the curtain with some of the world’s most well-known brands, exploring how they’ve transformed their businesses through the power of purpose. This book is a tool to “futureproof” your company, as the alignment of profit and purpose become increasingly essential.” You can order the book online or download the first chapter here.

#FOUR — WEF Corporate/Social Enterprise Collaborations

When corporations and social enterprises work together, they can change the world.

“Pioneering businesses are already harnessing the power of social entrepreneurs to drive innovation and change. Under the World Economic Forum’s COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs (CRASE), Acumen, a non-profit impact investment fund, with the support of IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, launched a new report surveying more than 150 social enterprises to better understand what it takes for them to be ‘corporate-ready’ and the impact of these business partnerships. The report includes 100 inspiring examples of social enterprises doing business with corporations from across regions and industries to solve business challenges while driving major progress on sustainability and inclusion goals.” Thanks to our colleague Jason Sukhram, Director, Impact Measurement & Management, MaRS DD for sharing the report.

#FIVE — #PurposeinBusinessWeek

Congratulations and gratitude to the City of Vancouver who have just issued the Proclamation for “Purpose in Business Week.” Nice work by our colleagues at the Social Purpose Institute of the United Way in BC. Now, can you get your city to sign on? Here’s the Vancouver proclamation to use as a guide.

WHEREAS Social Purpose in Business is a powerful driver of thriving business and thriving communities, a catalyst for economic recovery and growth, and that the health of the local business community and the health of the community at large are intrinsically linked;

AND WHEREAS the City of Vancouver is an emerging Hub of thriving Social Purpose Businesses in British Columbia and the Greenest City;

AND WHEREAS the public awareness and proliferation of Purpose in Business promotes building a critical mass of social purpose businesses contributing in new and innovative ways to a better world and demonstrates Vancouver’s ongoing commitment to environmental and societal health;

AND WHEREAS the City and the United Way Memorandum of Understanding to 2025 to foster Social Purpose in Business in Vancouver

NOW, THEREFORE, I Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of the City of Vancouver, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM the week of November 15th, 2021 as “PURPOSE IN BUSINESS WEEK” in the City of Vancouver.

quote of the week

Producing profitable solutions to the problems of people and planet, and not profiting from creating problems.”

– Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead, The British Academy,
Purpose of the Corporation Programme definition of the purpose of business — worth repeating.

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Weekly Announcement #47. October 22, 2021

#ONE — New resources and tools for Canada’s Purpose Economy Roadmap

Coro Strandberg and the Social Purpose Institute collaborated to publish the Social Purpose Association Benchmarking Tool designed to help industry, business and professional associations uncover the societal reason they and their sectors and professions exist. This helps them move from self-interest to societal interest and build their relevance, brand and impact as forces for good in society.

Interested in discussing these ideas with the social purpose community? Reminder to sign up for the first-ever virtual Propelling Purpose Summit November 17–18, the code for the B4PN community to access a 15% discount is PAN-21. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Also, don’t forget to let us know about your plans for #PurposeinBusinessWeek November 15–19 and please use the hashtag to get the word out there.

#TWO — Canadian Companies in Reuters Responsible Business Awards 2021

We spotted the $100 million TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good short-listed in the Social Impact Award category and Vancity in the Reporting and Transparency Award category. Congratulations to these industry leaders. What other Canadian companies should we be celebrating?

#THREE — Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and the Social Venture Circle (SVC) are hosting a webinar TODAY at 1 pm EST with Colin Mayer (Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and academic lead on The British Academy Future of the Corporation Programme) in conversation with Jeffrey Hollender (ASBC). You can register for free here.

They will discuss Professor Mayer’s book: Prosperity. Better Business Makes the Greater Good which “sets out a positive new agenda, demonstrating that the corporation is in a unique and powerful position to promote economic and social wellbeing in its fullest sense, for customers, for future generations, as well as for shareholders.”

#FOUR — For Momentum’s Social Impact Stats 2021

For Momentum’s “compendium of cause marketing, CSR and purpose data” shows the massive trend to purpose. There is a treasure trove of resources here with statistics that reinforce the business case for purpose: 85% of executives believe that being a purpose-driven company drives profit and 89% believe it gives companies a competitive advantage. Other notable numbers include:

· Globally, up to a quarter of consumer spending is influenced by purpose, putting an estimated U.S. $5 trillion of revenue at play

· 36% of companies surveyed created or most recently updated their corporate purpose statement within the last two years. 45% have had it for at least two years, 13% are currently reviewing their statements and 6% do not have a purpose statement

· Companies that reported having no corporate purpose statement or employees not knowing their purpose also reported lower community investments. Likewise, those companies also had lower rates of volunteerism

· 55% of companies use metrics that align their business practices with their corporate purpose… and on and on it goes! Thanks to Carol Cone for this resource in her latest Purposeful Connections.

#FIVE — CEO Activism: Pros, cons, and the pressure to speak out on social issues

Alex Ryan, SVP Partner Solutions at MaRS shared Why the Salesforce CEO wants to redefine capitalism by pushing for social change — is he simply “looking after his employees” or is it about living and working his values? Benioff is often vocal on social issues including offering to move his employees from Texas after the recent ban on most abortions in September. But he is not the only one, meanwhile in Canada:

quote of the week

I believe, over time, your employees most value a CEO whose values are clear and strong and who does not depress those values if there is a business issue. In fact, the opposite. I think your employees most respect a CEO whose values are clear, who they align with, and who they can feel confident that all of the decisions of the company will be consistent with those values.”

– Heather Reisman, CEO, Indigo Books. Quote from CBC Radio via B4PN Founding Member Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation and their e-newsletter envisage.

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Weekly Announcement #48. October 29, 2021

#ONE — Canada’s Purpose Economy Roadmap 1.0

Readers of the B4PN Weekly Announcement believe we need to create a Purpose Economy whose purpose (the reason the economy exists) is to “foster long-term well-being for all within nature’s limits.” At the upcoming Propelling Purpose Summit November 17–18, the Social Purpose Institute at the United Way in British Columbia will build on their Purpose Economy Roadmap for Canada and they are encouraging us to join them for a “once in a lifetime opportunity to co-create an economy that better serves humanity.” Check out the program here and don’t forget to register with the code PAN-21 for a 15% discount.

We are also excited to read about your plans for #PurposeinBusinessWeek November 15–19 and we encourage you to use the hashtag to get the word out there. You can access the Social Media Toolkit for Propelling Purpose and Purpose in Business Week here.

#TWO — POP: Pivot on Purpose

Daniel Overall, Executive Director of the Trico Charitable Foundation has shared information on this year’s Pivot on Purpose Summit (POP) which will be held during #PurposeinBusinessWeek. It is being hosted by the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary from November 18–20. The Summit is the next step in a movement to reimagine the power of business models to solve social problems. You can register here, for free, for sessions like:

· How to build a country through social enterprise. Lessons from Scotland

· Social entrepreneurship in 2020 and beyond. Panel with Social EnterPrize Recipients

· Workshop on stakeholder capitalism with R. Edward Freeman

· ESG & sustainable investing. Deadly distractions? Fireside chat with Tariq Fancy (originally featured in B4PN WA #17 March 19, 2021 and highlighted below)

#THREE — Fancy on Fink, Thunberg, and ESG

Gabriel Friedman of Financial Post brings us an interview with Tariq Fancy, former chief investment officer for sustainable investing at BlackRock, who “has long voiced his opinion that ‘sustainable investing’ and the Environmental, Social and Governance movement is actually counterproductive to addressing climate change and inequality.” Fancy denotes the system’s biggest flaw; companies have a fiduciary duty to maximize profit even if it causes societal harm. (Which is not accurate in Canada).

“The challenge is that when profit and purpose don’t overlap, and when maximizing profit can mean something that is not good for society, whether it’s polluting, underpaying or exploiting workers, then those are the kind of systemic issues that only government can adjust the rules to solve.”

#FOUR — Trend Watch: Tying ESG Outcomes into Executive Compensation

In their Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance article (October 19, 2021) Semler Brossy Consulting Group LLC offers advice on How to Translate ESG Imperatives into Executive Compensation. Their advice offers several options: incorporating ESG metrics mainly in annual bonuses (most common); split financial performance and add a second plan focused on ESG factors. This focus is on long-term sustainability with short term milestones and “should be aligned with the corporate purpose or mission.” Thanks to Coro Strandberg for this article.

#FIVE — Profit, meet purpose: The new way businesses are measuring success.

Five media’s Robert Langkjaer-Bain starts this article by asking: “What are companies for? Genuine question.” And ends by quoting Rita Marques of Impactrip: “I really do think that in the future, all businesses will be social businesses … because people will demand that.” In between they talk about the Business Roundtable’s declaration, the rise of B Corps and some words of wisdom from someone we quote often, Colin Mayer from the British Council’s Future of the Corporation. See his latest quote below.

quote of the week

“Deep down, we all know that money alone can’t make the world go round, and that what brings us real fulfilment is in fact ‘worthwhile endeavour.’ In other words: purpose.” – Prof. Colin Mayer, Academic Lead, Future of the Corporation

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Weekly Announcement #49. November 5, 2021

#ONE — Measuring Purpose

Junxion has written a deeply informative article for the Social Purpose Institute, hosts of the upcoming Propelling Purpose Summit November 17–18, entitled Measuring Purpose: Redefining Success for the Purpose Economy. They share some of the evaluation methods, like Theory of Change used in the nonprofit sector, and reframe them to help those attempting to put purpose into practice in their business.

Mike Rowlands, President and CEO of Junxion Strategy will be moderating a panel on Day 2 of the Summit entitled Designing the Ecosystem: Cross-pollinating practices across sectors. The panelists are Allyson Hewitt, MaRS and B4PN; Amie Sergas, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development; Chad Park, Co-operators; and The Honourable Hassan Yussuff, Canadian Senator and former President, Canadian Labour Congress. Check out the entire program here and don’t forget to register with the code PAN-21 for a 15% discount.

#TWO — Lessons from the Social Good Community

Plans for #PurposeinBusinessWeek November 15–19 are well underway and we encourage you to use the hashtag to get the word out there. You can access the Social Media Toolkit for Propelling Purpose and Purpose in Business Week here.

Featured event from B4PN Founding Member, Imagine Canada. Lessons from the Social Good Community. This event is scheduled for November 16 at 2 pm EST and is free to register. It features Laura Brown, Community Investment Manager at Sobeys Inc., Helen Siebel, Global Leader, Community Investment & Philanthropy AstraZeneca and Steven Ayer, CSR Corporate Partnership Analyst for Imagine Canada as they reflect on lessons from the pandemic and where the community investment field is headed. We hope that adopting a societal purpose is something they have on their agenda.

#THREE — Shared Value Leadership Summit 2021

It’s been a decade since Shared Value was first introduced to us, this complimentary summit offers a reflection on the progress of this initiative and a chance to hear from global leaders such as Dan Shulman from PayPal and Darren Walker from Ford Foundation. November 8, 9 and 10. Register here. This event promises “inspiration, connection and actionable advice for purpose-driven leaders and practitioners from around the globe who are committed to imagining and designing an equitable and inclusive society.”

#FOUR — Profiling Social Purpose in Business Champions

We have featured the writings of Hubert Joly, former CEO of Best Buy several times before in the B4PN Weekly Announcement, in his latest HBR article entitled Creating a Meaningful Corporate Purpose, he inspires us to feature his work yet again.

HBR Summary: “Today, most company leaders believe that their companies’ larger purpose is to make a positive difference in the world — not just to maximize shareholder value. Defining a corporate why and making sure it guides decisions and operations has therefore become a cornerstone of doing business. According to author Hubert Joly, former chairman and CEO of Best Buy, Best Buy’s purpose has been central to the way the company has grown and evolved — and continues to. It’s what helped inspire previously discouraged and anxious employees and boosted the company’s share price about tenfold since 2012. Although the idea of a company guided by purpose is simple to understand, it is very hard to turn into reality. Joly presents five considerations that are critical for defining a powerful corporate purpose.”

#FIVE — Listen: Growing Business for Good

Mary Ellen Schaafsma, Director and Co-Founder of the Social Purpose Institute (SPI) at United Way BC, “shares the concept of business having a social purpose as their reason for being, beyond profit” on this podcast hosted by Lynn Fergusson, Partner and Co-Founder of the B Corp Social Impact Advisors. Lynn is working with the B4PN on a strategic clarity process, and we recommend you take Lynn and Mary Ellen with you on your next 30-minute walk.

quote of the week

Trend 6: Purposeful business. Linked to authenticity, this trend is all about ensuring your organization exists to serve a meaningful purpose — and not just serve up profits to shareholders. Purpose defines why the organization exists. (Not what the organization is or what it does or for whom. Therefore, purpose is different to mission and vision.) Importantly, a strong purpose has the promise of transformation or striving for something better — be it a better world, a better way to do something, or whatever is important to your organization.” – Bernard Marr, The 8 Biggest Business Trends in 2022, Forbes.
November 1, 2021.

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AllysonHewitt

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