Business as a Platform for Change

The FORTUNE CEO Initiative is a forum for corporate leaders who are committed to addressing major social problems as part of their core business strategies. Click here for more information on membership.

The Initiative grew out of an historic meeting of 100 CEOs with Pope Francis at the Vatican in December 2016, and is based on a belief that infusing broader purpose into corporate strategies has become increasingly important in attracting and motivating talent, deepening bonds with consumers, steadying corporate reputation in an era of declining trust, and preserving a well-functioning society in a time of political tumult.

Through annual gatherings and participation in action work streams, CEO Initiative members exchange best practices and leadership techniques for addressing key issues, and work to identify opportunities for collective action.

Participation is by invitation and non-transferable, and benefits of membership in the CEO Initiative will extend beyond the annual meeting. Click here to review the membership benefits.

The current key themes of the CEO Initiative include the following:

1. Developing and Training the Workforce
Big data, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and other new technologies are threatening to change almost every aspect of every business in every industry, and at an accelerating pace. By some estimates, these technologies could displace as much as a third of the workforce in the next two decades. How does the private sector create systems for continuous development and training of workers so they can manage the wild ride ahead.

2. Technology as a Tool to Empower
Technology has multiple and profound effects on society. It boosts productivity and living standards, and empowers workers, entrepreneurs and consumers. But it also displaces workers in many industries, and has contributed to widening disparities in income and wealth. How do we deploy technology in a way that maximizes its positive social effects, and minimizes the negative?

3. Financial Health and Inclusion
The economy’s health depends on strong consumers with adequate access to the financial services and sufficient financial security for inevitable periods of unemployment, disability, and retirement. How can the private sector shore up society’s financial health?

4. Employee and Community Health and Wellbeing
The health and wellbeing of a company’s employees, as well as those in the communities where it operates, are critical contributors to business success. What can the private sector do to foster healthy living?

5. Creating a Diverse Workplace Culture
There is ample evidence that diverse workforces are stronger and more resilient, and yet diversity remains an elusive goal for many companies, for a complex set of reasons. How can companies do a better job.

6. Building A Planet-First Company
How can corporations combat pollution, climate change and resource shortages despite limited help (or maybe even active opposition) from state actors? How can CEOs adopt policies that address environmental concerns in ways that strengthen long-term profits? And how can they convince investors, employees and customers that changes based on rationales of sustainability and ecological awareness are the right choice financially, as well as ethically?

7. Focusing on Long Term Value
As long as investors prioritize short-term returns, corporate efforts to build long-term social value will be threatened. What can the business community do to assign appropriate value to long-term value creation, and encourage the investment community to do the same?

At the 2017 CEO Initiative Meeting
<div class="caption legacy-media-caption"><p>Clockwise from top right: <b>Indra Nooyi</b>, Chairperson and CEO, PepsiCo and  <b>Mark Bertolini</b>, CEO, Aetna; <b>Jamie Dimon</b>, Chairman and CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase; <b>Bernard Tyson</b>, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente; <b>John Kasich</b>, Governor, State of Ohio with <b>Antonio Guterres</b>, Secretary-General, United Nations</p> </div>