Dr. James Mwangi has joined a league of 14 global 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 signed by the signatories outlines their vision for a new global economy that is more equal, inclusive and sustainable; an economy that is more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and many other global 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. and 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 combined global workforce of over 500,000. They have proposed a roadmap to “build the economic system better,” after COVID-19, rather than simply “building it back.”
In signing the letter, Dr. Mwangi stated that, “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; the choice to recognize that the world system only works for a few and not the majority of the world’s 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 added “We are honored that Equity’s business model of inclusion, high volume, low margin and a purpose of transforming lives, giving dignity and expanding opportunities for wealth creation is well aligned with the call for a purpose-first economy. The model was recognized by the Global Vision Award in 2007 as an “initiator of the concept of the future that will shape the world economy”, and affirmed by the 2020 Oslo Business Award for Peace as a business worthy initiative that ethically creates economic and societal value. We are committed to continue championing a purpose-first business model in partnership with all stakeholders.”
Dr. Mwangi joins other leaders in calling upon governments, corporates and the UN system to create new policies and incentives to spur sustainable and inclusive economic growth, yielding a healthy society within planetary boundaries, for generations to come.