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Global CEOs Call on Governments and Business to Build a Better “Purpose-First” Economy

In a historic letter, a new coalition of global corporate leaders representing a combined annual revenue of over $100 billion USD and a combined global workforce of over 500,000 have proposed a roadmap to “build the economic system better,” rather than simply “building it back.” The roadmap’s goal is to create an inclusive and sustainable post-COVID economy that benefits society, the planet, and shareholders for generations to come. In the letter, the group of fourteen CEOs called on governments to accelerate such a transition by recognizing and supporting purpose-first business as an emerging fourth sector of the economy. 

Global Leadership COVID 19 Response Lett


The signatories have also committed to advance the purpose-first economy by leveraging their procurement, innovation, research, development, and investment to accelerate the growth of this critical sector. The letter provides a practical roadmap for proactively redesigning corporate structures and government policies in the development of a more supportive ecosystem for organizations that operate under a new business logic.


The leaders urge businesses and governments to join them. 


While still evolving, the emergent purpose-first model harnesses decades of innovation to spur sustainable and inclusive economic growth, yielding a healthy society within planetary boundaries, for generations to come. We call on businesses and governments to join us in accelerating the transition towards an inclusive, resilient, sustainable economy that recognizes and enables purpose-first businesses to thrive. We recommend:


Recognize the purpose-first sector.


Design for a safe, educated, and healthy society. 

Governments can acknowledge the mosaic of innovations we have identified as a distinct (and diverse) fourth sector of the economy. They can thereby enable and scale purpose-first businesses through the systematic provision of support and removal of impediments. This can include targeted policy, financing, procurement, contracting, taxation, accountability measures, capacity building, and more. .

Support colleges, universities, and research centers to collaborate and access capital, talent, and shared resources. Expand community building and educational training, develop regional platforms, and new curricula. Equip policymakers, practitioners, and students with the necessary knowledge and skills for careers in the purpose-driven economy. 


Carefully craft incentives and policies. 



Encourage other economic actors — the private sector, civil society, investors, academia, philanthropy, and citizens — to engage in the co-creation, employment, and expansion of the fourth sector and its growing ecosystem.

Support economies to climb the development ladder by enabling and accelerating the growth of purpose-first businesses and investment to successfully deliver on the Decade of Action in pursuit of global climate and sustainability goals. 


Incentivize innovations of financial products, risk assessment, valuation models, and ratings.


Enable a supportive ecosystem.

Develop standards for assessing and accounting for social and environmental impacts of purpose-driven enterprises.

Building a better post-COVID-19 economy by creating an enabling ecosystem that serves both purpose-first businesses and conventional businesses that want to transition toward a purpose-first logic. 


Join the Community

Leaders on Purpose:
CEO Community


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

Are you a purpose-driven leader working to build a better economy? We invite you to join our community.

Add Your Voice

Share Your Ideas

Join the growing alliance of global leaders standing up for building a better economy, by raising your voice in support of the Call to Action.


Share your view on what the Call means for you and your organization’s values and priorities.


How does it relate to work you have been doing in this context?


Do you have any recommendations to add, or suggestions for implementation?

Take Action

Building a Better Economy: Action Platform  

The Platform is a collective global effort driven by leaders in business, policy, investing, academia, social innovation, civil society, and other domains who have come together to harness the growing fourth sector of the economy as a pathway for social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. 

Join us, and learn how to take action on the CEO Call for a better economy.

join the hackathon

Help Implement the Recommendations

The recommendations in the CEO Call to Action will be advanced through a series of global policy hackathons.  The first began on September 1st – September 14th, 2020. These online innovation events will bring together corporate, government, academic, and institutional partners with thousands of experts and innovators from around the world. Together they will work in teams to develop immediate and long-term public policy solutions for implementing the recommendations and unleashing cross-sector action to enable the purpose-first economy to thrive.