Global leadership COVID-19 response:

A call for action to transition to

a purpose-first economy

Leaders on Purpose, in partnership with the Fourth Sector Group, and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), has published an open letter calling for “Cross-sector collaboration for a purpose-first economy.” 


Signed by some of the world’s most progressive CEOs, the letter focuses on the commitment to work towards the creation of an inclusive and sustainable economy. Specifically, it outlines the need to ‘build back better’ for a more equitable economic recovery. It also proposes concrete strategies for achieving the global 2030 agenda in a post-COVID world.

The letter provides a framework for proactively designing government policies and innovative corporate and financial structures that enable a purpose-first business logic to scale exponentially. Such innovative businesses have been operating at the intersection of the private, public, and nonprofit sectors for decades, giving rise to a new, fourth sector of the economy. They combine market-based approaches of the private sector with the social and environmental aims of the public and nonprofit sectors to address pressing problems and deliver more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient economies.  In light of the current crisis, the signatories see a strong need to create a supportive ecosystem that can greatly accelerate the growth of the purpose-first economy.

“Today, more than ever, the world needs to be able to reimagine a new future. A future in which people can feel safe and protected. The initiative being set in motion by Leaders on Purpose is an effort toward defining the new environment. It provides a much-needed aspirational framework – one which has the power to change the language of business discourse and how we regard the future. The philosophy of Leaders on Purpose resonates deeply with Mahindra’s vision and has the potential to become a movement which will define the future for generations to come" Anand Mahindra, CEO Mahindra & Mahindra

The letter Highlights the role of purpose-driven business in re-imagining and remaking our global systems. It calls for businesses and governments to join in accelerating the transition towards an inclusive, resilient, sustainable economy that recognizes and enables purpose-first businesses, and the societies they serve, to thrive.

“As we begin the Decade of Action to achieve agenda 2030, we must work together to reimagine a better world for children, young people and their families around the world – especially in developing markets. This new initiative provides a vehicle for UNICEF to join forces with purpose-driven businesses and support countries and communities as they build stronger economies and systems that can support all people in the years ahead.”

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF

The private sector needs an integrated strategy and supportive eco-system that integrates more fairness, less dependency, more climate and sustainability focus, preparedness, and agility for uncertain times. We each have to think about the world around us, our role in it, our tremendous potential, and how we can contribute to making it better together" Feike Sijbesma, Honorary Chairman, DSM

The signatories are advocating to “build the economic system better,” rather than simply “building it back,” following the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The aim is to provide a roadmap for transitioning to an economy that puts purpose first – to benefit the whole of society, the planet and shareholders for generations to come. The signatory companies represent a combined global annual revenue in 2019 of over 100 billion USD and employ almost half a million people.

"The COVID-19 crisis layers on top of existing global crises in climate, inequality, and fragility, hitting the world’s most vulnerable hardest, but impacting all of us. This has turned gaps in finance for sustainable development into a risk of total collapse. Today’s recovery measures from the public and private sector create an opportunity we can’t ignore: to mobilise and align global finance to build better, greener, and more resilient. I applaud the leadership from the [Fourth Sector Group and Leaders on Purpose Collaboration] for its resolve to contribute to a new, inclusive and sustainable economic system that leaves no one behind." Jorge Moreira da Silva  Director, OECD


This group invites others to join them and work together to accelerate the building of a new economy that delivers a more just and sustainable world for generations to come.


To find out more: Link Fourth Sector Group (Hyperlink) Bella & Kimberly 

Leaders on Purpose: CEO Community  


Delay is no longer an option.  The world is calling on all leaders to have the courage, wisdom and foresight to emerge from the current crisis with a better approach.  The Leaders on Purpose CEO community is actively working together to reset business towards a purpose-first business logic for the benefit of society and the planet, for generations to come.

We bring together business, government, academic and civil leaders committed to taking action towards purpose-first approach and measurable impact.



Engage with Leaders on Purpose. Endorse our open letter, and work with us to create a purpose-first economy through the new business logic.