AbstractThe case for purpose-driven business

Can download full report as PDF

Article6 Trends that will reshape business purpose in 2021

Each year, we gather predictions on the coming year in purpose from the Purpose Collaborative, our collective of purpose-driven firms advancing business and societal impacts for organizations around the world. The world we’re entering in 2021 will be far different than we imagined a year ago. Yet we begin the year armed with lessons from 2020, as well as new challenges, new opportunities, new beginnings, and renewed hope.

Fast Companyarticle
ArticleCreating a Purpose-Driven Organization – How to get employees to bring their smarts and energy to work

When employees are disengaged and underperforming, the reaction of many managers is to try new incentives and ratchet up oversight and control. Yet often nothing improves.

Harvard Business Reviewarticle
ArticleHow Does the Business Sector Rethink Purpose?

Joshua Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable, talks with Judy Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program.

Aspen Institutearticle
ArticleB Corp Leaders Rely on Values Amid Modern Challenges

This article is the first in a series of Founding B Corp interviews, where B The Change holds conversations between Certified B Corporations that helped found the B Corp movement and other businesses in the B Corp community. The series ties the reasons for the B Corp inception through to today’s discussions around business’s role in solving global and social issues. 

B Corparticle
ArticleReasons Why Purpose-Driven Businesses Can Help You Find Better Hires, Mentors and Investors

When your business has an important mission at its heart, you will have more power to attract talent, valued mentors, investors and customers. That’s because today’s consumers are drawn to ethical products from ethical brands.

ArticleThe Power Of Purpose: The Business Case For Purpose (All The Data You Were Looking For Pt 1)

Data broken down into the three main areas where purpose is manifesting itself in business: consumers, employees, and investors.

ArticleThe Power Of Purpose: The Business Case For Purpose (All The Data You Were Looking For Pt 2)

Data broken down into the three main areas where purpose is manifesting itself in business: consumers, employees, and investors.

ArticleHow Patagonia grows every time it amplifies its social mission

CEO Rose Marcario, who leads the apparel player, a 2018 World’s Most Innovative Company, has catalyzed the shifting political tides to Patagonia’s benefit.

Fast Companyarticle
ArticleGood company: the capitalists putting purpose ahead of profit

As protest and environmental alarm escalate, a new breed of business is prioritizing values other than money and growth

The Guardianarticle
ArticleThe Insider’s Guide to Finding Meaningful Work and Attracting Top TalentBeMeaningful.comarticle
ArticlePayPal and CARE USA Honored With ‘Golden Halos’ for Best-in-Class Corporate Social Impact EffortsCSRWirearticle
ArticleThe Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020 – Millennials and Gen Zs hold the key to creating a “better normal”

Deloitte research reveals “resilient generations.” In the face of unprecedented health and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, millennials and Gen Zs express resolve and a vision to build a better future


Lisa is an advisor, consultant, and speaker who works with senior executives and sales teams around the world. She is the author of five bestselling books and a sought after speaker known for her authenticity and humor. Lisa’s work has been featured in Forbes, Fortune and The New York Times.

McLeod & Morearticle
ArticleForget Purpose Driven Organization

Carol’s Living Systems Rubric: As Herbert Simon would say, “The overall idea is too small and incomplete; It is a victim of Satisficing”. This is the beginning of why there is a critical need for living systems perspective. I offers five premises that are used as a reference for assessing ideas. They come from a Living Systems Rubric of sorts rather than a Human Potential Paradigm. It is about all of life and how it works, not just humans.

Carol Sanford is a regenerative business educator, the award winning author of The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes, and executive in residence and senior fellow in social innovation at Babson College.

ArticlePurpose shifting from why to how

This article was a collaborative, global effort between Arne Gast (partner in McKinsey’s Kuala Lumpur office and leader of Aberkyn, McKinsey Academy’s dedicated leadership facilitation group), Pablo Illanes (partner in the Washington, DC, office and Public and Social Sector Practice lead for McKinsey’s purpose initiative), Nina Probst (partner in the Geneva office and leader of the survey underpinning the article), Bill Schaninger (senior partner in the Philadelphia office and leader of McKinsey’s Organization Practice), and Bruce Simpson (senior partner in the Toronto office and leader of McKinsey’s purpose initiative).

ArticlePut Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy – It’s how successful companies redefine their businesses.

Eight years ago we launched a global study of high growth in companies, investigating the importance of three strategies known to drive it: creating new markets, serving broader stakeholder needs, and changing the rules of the game. What we found surprised us. Although each of those approaches did boost growth at the organizations we studied, there was a fourth driver we hadn’t considered at all: purpose.

ArticlePurpose, not platitudes: A personal challenge for top executives

To harness the power of corporate purpose, CEOs and other senior executives must pressure-test that purpose with their teams, employees—and themselves.

Articles100+ articles to spark purpose in your business

Business purpose: We’ve built an article database that helps purpose driven professionals to share knowledge and spark purpose in their organisations. It’s the biggest vault of articles related to the purpose economy that we know of, and we’re glad that you are taking the time to dive in.

GoodUp – Purpose Activation Platformarticle
AudiobookPurposehood: Transform Your Life, Transform the World

Based on Ammar’s deep, personal exploration of science, philosophy, religion, mysticism, and existence itself, this book invites you to reflect on your own life’s purpose and how you can embrace it to create positive change and success.  

AudiobookThe Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counterintuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization

What does a lofty notion like purpose have to do with business basics like the bottom line? Robert E. Quinn and Anjan V. Thakor say pretty much everything. Leaders and managers are taught that employees are self-interested and work resistant, so they create systems of control to combat these expectations. Workers resent these systems, and performance suffers. To address the performance issues, managers double down on the coercion, creating a vicious cycle and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

BlogThe Age of Authenticity: Why Brands Need to Get Real

Consumers are losing brand trust – they’re searching for authenticity, but are coming up short. Here’s how to win back their hearts by getting real.

BlogHow the Business Roundtable could create a level playing field for purpose-driven business

The Hill is an American digital media company, based in Washington, D.C. which began as a newspaper publisher in 1994. It is owned by Capitol Hill Publishing 

The Hillblog
Blog5 ways purpose-driven companies do better than others.

Purpose Attracts Investors

Founderslane – Corporate Venture Buildingblog
BlogBrand purpose: when good intentions aren’t enough

Kantar Group Ltd is a British market research company that was founded in 1992.

Blog5 Examples of Brand Authenticity To Help You Make a Profit

Instapage, Inc. is an American software company focused as a landing page platform.

Blog18 Core Company Values That Will Shape Your Culture & Inspire Your Employees

HubSpot is an American developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service.

BlogWhy Reputation Leaders Should Be Focused on Higher Purpose This Year

Respondents to the PPI who perceive companies to have an excellent purpose said they are willing to give high levels of business support.

BlogHow Can Companies Ensure that Their Purpose Stays Relevant in a Changing World?

If you’ve established a purpose and have already infused that larger mission into your company’s DNA, how do you ensure it stays relevant, too? We brought this question to Haley Rushing, Chief Purposologist and co-founder of the Purpose Institute in Austin, Texas. For more than 20 years, Haley has worked closely with some of the most purpose-driven organizations in the world—including the American Red Cross, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods Market, Interstate Batteries, and IMG Academy—to help them discover and bring to life their values and purpose.

BlogEmphasis on Purpose Reflects New Expectations for Corporate Leaders

The recent declaration from the Business Roundtable that the purpose of a corporation is now to serve all of its constituents (including workers, customers, investors, and wider society) marks a seminal change.

BlogLessons on Corporate Purpose from Greta Thunberg

Businesses stand to learn a lot from Greta.

Blog3 Reasons Why Purpose Matters for Business

Increasingly, businesses have come to the realization that these cornerstones are no longer sufficient to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A variety of stakeholders, well beyond merely investors, are looking beyond the bottom-line.

BlogHow Purpose and Marketing Come Together to Drive Business Results

It’s up to your company’s marketing team to amplify these activities and support the purpose-driven messaging.

BlogCorporate purpose: the what, the why, and the how

This article ties together some of the most prominent research on the business case of purpose.

GoodUp – Purpose Activation Platformblog
BlogBusinesses with purpose

Business purpose: these 13 companies with purpose thrive in today’s economy.

GoodUp – Purpose Activation Platformblog
BookMarketing from the inside out – transformational growth for purpose driven leaders

IN THE SHADOW OF THE GREAT RECESSION, amidst the wreckage of global capitalism, two entrepreneurs asked a simple question: What if there was a better way to grow a business? One that would cost less money, produce lasting results, and—most importantly—provide purpose-driven leaders with a way to do good in the world? Thus began the journey of Shawn Busse and Wendy Maynard, as they set out to build a system of marketing and cultural alignment that would revolutionize the way business owners think about growth.

BookBeyond Good: How Technology is Leading a Purpose-driven Business Revolution

When we think of global corporations and business in general, do we feel pride in how we do things? Are we doing enough, given the undeniable reality of global climate change and the inequality faced by millions of people every day? Beyond Good is a call to arms for business leaders to recognize how they can do well by doing good.

BookGreen Swans – The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism

Green Swans is a manifesto for system change designed to serve people, planet, and prosperity. In his twentieth book, John Elkington–dubbed the “Godfather of Sustainability”–explores new forms of capitalism fit for the twenty-first century.

Fast Company Pressbook
BookThe Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World

Through colorful narratives, the co-authors of this engaging book highlight innovative business influencers on missions to improve some of the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental issues through unconventional social business models and strategies.

BookThe Third Wave – an Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future

In The Third Wave Steve Case takes us behind the scenes to some of the most consequential and riveting business decisions of our time, and predicts that we’re at the dawn of the next technological revolution unlike anything we’ve seen before—the Third Wave of the internet— that will transform the economy and the way we live our lives.

BookLet My People Go Surfing (Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual)

“This is the story of an attempt to do more than change a single corporation—it is an attempt to challenge the culture of consumption that is at the heart of the global ecological crisis.” – Naomi Klein, author of the bestselling book This Changes Everything

BookStart Something That Matters

The incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good

BookForces for Good: Creating a better world through purpose-driven businesses

There’s a new generation of businesses emerging. They’re working together to make a positive impact on the world by redefining what it means to be successful.

SRA Booksbook
BookThe B Corp Handbook: How You Can Use Business as a Force for Good Paperback – Illustrated, 23 April 2019

“This book shows how using business as a force for good, not just pursuing short-term profits, can be better for consumers, employees, local communities, the environment, and your company’s long-term bottom line.”

Berrett-Koehler Publishersbook
BookGood Works!: Marketing and Corporate Initiatives that Build a Better World…and the Bottom Line

Marketing guru Philip Kotler, cause marketing authority David Hessekiel, and social marketing expert Nancy Lee have teamed up to create a guide rich with actionable advice on integrating marketing and corporate social initiatives into your broader business goals.

BookPerspectives on Purpose: Leading voices on building brands and business in the 21st Century

“To build a great company, purpose is not a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. This book brings together a range of thoughtful voices on how to develop and communicate that purpose.”

BookThe Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned from Patagonia’s First 40 Years

Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, and Vincent Stanley, co-editor of its Footprint Chronicles, draw on the their 40 years’ experience at Patagonia – and knowledge of current efforts by other companies – to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time.

BookBold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World

From the coauthors of the New York Times bestseller Abundance comes their much anticipated follow-up: Bold—a radical, how-to guide for using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking, and crowd-powered tools to create extraordinary wealth while also positively impacting the lives of billions.

Simon Schusterbook
BookScrew Business As Usual

Can we bring more meaning to our lives and help change the world at the same time? Richard Branson, at his brilliant and motivating best, reveals how with his exciting new vision for the future. It is time to turn capitalism upside down – to shift our values, to switch from a profit focus to caring for people, communities and the planet.

Virgin Publishingbook
BookConscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

In this book, Whole Foods Market cofounder John Mackey and professor and Conscious Capitalism, Inc. cofounder Raj Sisodia argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism. Featuring some of today’s best-known companies, they illustrate how these two forces can—and do—work most powerfully to create value for all stakeholders: including customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society, and the environment.

BookFirms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose

These are the firms of endearment. Companies people love doing business with, working for and collaborating with as partners. Since the publication of the First Edition, the concept of corporate social responsibility has become embraced as a valid, important, and profitable business model. It is a trend that has transformed the workplace and corporate world.  This Second Edition updates the examples, cases, and applications from the original edition, giving readers insight into how this hallmark of the modern organization is practiced today.

Pearson FT Pressbook
BookConscious Capitalism Field Guide: Tools for Transforming Your Organization Paperback

The Conscious Capitalism Field Guide–the authoritative follow-up to the bestselling book Conscious Capitalism, by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, and leadership expert Raj Sisodia–gives you the tools for sharing and implementing the principles of higher purpose and conscious business throughout your organization.

CollectionRe-thinking Company Purpose – a collection of videos, articles and podcasts

A collection of articles, podcasts and videos featuring speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute.

Aspen Institutecollection
CommunitySustainable Brands

Sustainable Brands is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our goal has been to inspire, engage, and equip business leaders and practitioners who see social and environmental challenges as an essential driver of brand innovation, value creation, and positive impact.

Sustainable Brands
CommunityBusiness of Purpose – The community for business doing good

Let us help you connect you to your purpose-soulmates, further learn about the latest on purpose-driven business, experience this new way of doing business and create an impact in the real world.

CommunitySmall Giants

The Small Giants Community is a designated L3C organization, a hybrid between a for-profit and a nonprofit entity that prioritizes mission and social purpose. Passionate, purposeful business leaders from around the world come to us to train and develop future leaders in their organizations, connect with like-hearted peers, and learn how to run a values-driven business. Whether you’re a budding leader who wants to grow or a founder/CEO looking for new business best friends, there’s a place for you here.

Small Giants
CommunityB Corp

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

eBookPurpose Driven People: Creating business agility and sustainable growth

Agility is no longer a buzz word. Business agility within organisations is sorely needed. Reacting more quickly to volatile market conditions, customer and employee demands, value creation, being relevant and meaningful have become a necessity. Implementing agile models and methodologies is one thing. Being truly agile from the heart of the organisation is often a struggle. Impossible? Definitely not. But how…?

eBookPurpose, Values, Vision – A practical guide.

Learn how to create authentic core values with your team that directly support your purpose. Bonus! A step-by-step process is outlined by expert Corey Blake.

Small Giantsebook
InfographicHigher Purpose and Data Privacy Rise in Importance in 2020 Global Trends Report

The RepTrak Company’s third annual report about the trends affecting reputation in 2020 identified 10 global priorities that are shaping reputation and impacting businesses this year. Those trends include higher purpose, data privacy, climate change, influencers, and CEO activism.


3BL Media delivers purpose-driven communications for the world’s leading companies. Our unrivaled distribution, leadership and editorial platforms inspire and support global sustainable business, reaching 10+ million change-makers.

3BL Medianewsfeed
NewsfeedTriple Punditt

TriplePundit reports on the intersection of people, planet and profit, focusing on sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and finance.


Impact – the big ideas that change the world

Fast Companynewsfeed
NewsfeedChronicle of Philanthropy

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is a magazine that covers the nonprofit world of philanthropy. Based in Washington, DC, it is aimed at charity leaders, foundation executives, fund raisers, and other people involved in philanthropy.

Chronicle of Philanthropynewsfeed
NewsfeedThe NonProfit Times

The NonProfit Times is a newspaper based in Morris Plains, New Jersey, covering the business management of non-profit organizations in the United States. The first issue was published in April 1987. The newspaper covers fundraising, accounting, managerial issues and human resource management.

The Nonprofit Timesnewsfeed

Independent and journalistic media delivering surprising, involving and critical stories from all corners of Copenhagen Business School.

Newsfeed3bl Media

3BL Media delivers purpose-driven communications for the world’s leading companies to inspire and support global sustainable business, reaching 10+ million change-makers.

3BL Medianewsfeed
NewsfeedGreen Biz

GreenBiz Group is a media and events company that advances the opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability.

PodcastProfit and Purpose Go Hand in Hand: Corporate Leaders Dan Schulman and Mellody Hobson on Values-Driven Business

“Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. 

Aspen Institutepodcast
PodcastIs Activism Good Business? Just Ask Patagonia

Rose Marcario says she’s acting according to the company’s values and customers are supportive. Under Marcario’s leadership, Patagonia has quadrupled revenues. In her conversation with Erik Schatzker, editor at large with Bloomberg Television, she talks about the company’s long history with activism and how championing causes impacts the bottom line. The views and opinions of the speaker are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.

Aspen Institutepodcast
PodcastPurpose 360: Kylie Wright-Ford Speaks with Carole Cone

Carol Cone is CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE (CCOP), a 21st century consultancy whose mission is to move social purpose to the center of business and brand strategy. At the core of CCOP is The Purpose Collaborative, a collective of over 30 agencies, boutiques and individuals, with deep purpose, CSR and sustainability capabilities from strategy to execution.

PodcastWhat Role Does Purpose Play in Building a Brand’s Reputation?

Carol Cone is CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE (CCOP), a 21st century consultancy whose mission is to move social purpose to the center of business and brand strategy. At the core of CCOP is The Purpose Collaborative, a collective of over 30 agencies, boutiques and individuals, with deep purpose, CSR and sustainability capabilities from strategy to execution.

Podcast21 Social Enterprise Podcasts That Will Inspire You To Impact The World (Updated)

In this post I try to list some of the most interesting social innovation and social enterprise podcasts that I listen or have listened to.

Cause Artistpodcast
PodcastDove: Maintaining a Brand with Purpose

Unilever’s Dove soap became a brand with purpose when it launched the “Campaign for Real Beauty” to combat media-driven stereotypes of female beauty. After a decade of sales growth and proven positive social impact, the company is facing criticism about its other brands that contradict the Dove campaign, and struggling to determine the best allocation of funds between advertising and the educational programs that deliver social impact. Can Dove maintain both its market position and social impact in the future? Senior Lecturer, Mark Kramer discusses his case, “Dove and Real Beauty: Building a Brand with Purpose.”

HBR Presents Networkpodcast

On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk with an amazing entrepreneur and mother who has honed in on her superpowers and helps others find theirs: Rebekah Neumann.

Lewis Howespodcast podcast-once-off
Podcast (Ongoing)Essential listening for purpose-driven entrepreneurs

Each week, I sit down with experts in the fields of purpose-driven entrepreneurship, psychology, brain science, and faith so you’re armed with the knowledge and the tools to make a sustainable impact in your business and your life.

Rank and File Magpodcast podcast-ongoing
Podcast (Ongoing)School of Greatness

Since its launch in January 2013, the School of Greatness podcast has grown rapidly to be one of the top-ranked Business and Self-Development podcasts in iTunes. It regularly appears in the Top 50 of all iTunes podcasts, and has over 150 million downloads.

Episodes range from interviews with incredible world-class game changers in entrepreneurship, health, mindset, and relationships, to solo rounds with the host, Lewis Howes (me!), and the once a week listener-favorite, the 5-Minute Friday format. I also have unique interviews like this with YouTube celebrities.

School of greatnesspodcast podcast-ongoing
Podcast (Ongoing)Leading From Purpose Podcast

​Join Nick Craig, President of Core Leadership Institute and author of “Leading From Purpose: Clarity and The Confidence to Act When it Matters Most” as he interviews some of the greatest minds in the field of authentic leadership and purpose-driven leadership in the modern world.

Core Leadership Institutepodcast podcast-ongoing
Podcast (Ongoing)The Business Purpose Podcast

A brand new show about the real value of business. We’ll be talking to business experts and thought leaders that live and breathe their passion. We’ll go behind the scenes of leading brands and discuss how they put their company purpose into practice. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

GoodUp – Purpose Activation Platformpodcast podcast-ongoing
Podcast (Ongoing)Growing with Purpose Podcast

On the Growing with Purpose Podcast, Small Giants Community Co-Founder, Paul Spiegelman, goes behind the scenes with purpose-driven business leaders to learn about what shaped them in business and in life.

Small Giantspodcast podcast-ongoing
TedX TalkSimon Sinek: ‘What’s Your Company’s Purpose?’ | Inc. Magazine

Simon Sinek, who writes about leadership and “the why,” explains how you can identify yours.

Inc. Magazinetedx-talk
TedX TalkWhy purpose-driven companies are thriving (and can change the world) | Ryan Hillier | TEDxMontrealTedXtedx-talk
VideoNew Corporate Trailblazers – The Purpose Leaders

If you don’t take action on your values [as a company], then they’re really just propaganda. A conversation with the CEOs of PayPal and Levi Strauss & Co.

Aspen Institutevideo
BookEntrepreneur Enlightenment: A Guide to Establishing and Expanding Your Purpose-Driven Business

Can you be on a spiritual path and run a money-making business? Yes! When you align your business with your purpose, it’s easy to pursue both. Purpose-driven entrepreneurs desire to make the world a more peaceful and loving place through their work. They are not just focused on profits.

ReportFortune Rankings – Companies who Change the World

Fortune’s Change the World list is built on the premise that the profit motive can inspire companies to tackle society’s unmet needs. The 2020 list, our sixth, stresses a crucial corollary: No business succeeds alone. Collaboration among companies, even among rivals, is a common thread, from the effort to make “green” steel, to the campaign to close America’s racial wealth gap, and, above all, in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. As we face unprecedented collective challenges—a global pandemic, climate change, profound income inequality cooperation has become a business superpower.