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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 2017 Corporate Citizenship Conference
Special Session: Growing the For-Benefit Economy
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 from 2:30-5:00 PM, followed by reception from 5:15-7:15 PM
Ronald Reagan Building | Washington, DC
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Tapping the Trillion-Dollar Market For Good
Over the past century, business has been a tremendous engine of prosperity and advancement, improving the quality of life for much of the world’s population. But despite this progress, and to some extent as an unintended consequence of it, humanity now faces the most urgent, large scale, complex array of social and environmental challenges in its history. In response to these challenges, over the past few decades we have seen many for-profit companies broadening their purpose to pursue social and environmental aims, while many nonprofits and governmental organizations have adopted market-based approaches to advance their goals. At the same time, a rapidly growing movement of “for-benefit” enterprises around the world have been leveraging the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. These pioneering for-benefits are challenging the traditional boundaries that separate the public, private, and social sectors, giving rise to a new, fourth sector of the economy. Though still quite nascent, a supportive ecosystem around this fourth sector has also been emerging in recent decades, with innovations in finance, metrics, policy, education, and more. The rise of Impact Investing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Benefit Corporations, Social Enterprise, Sustainability, Venture Philanthropy, and Conscious Capitalism are but a few examples of these trends.
For-benefits are already a large sector of the economy, comprising 10% of GDP in the U.S. and Europe and growing jobs twice as fast as traditional for-profit firms. And they’re poised to grow rapidly, because, as numerous studies show, there is tremendous demand for them among consumers, investors, employees, millennials, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. For these reasons, the fourth sector is increasingly being seen as central to economic policy and development by governments, and is attracting support across the political spectrum.
In this highly interactive session, leaders from business, finance, government, philanthropy, and academia will come together to explore how to leverage for-benefit enterprise to tackle the critical challenges of the 21st century at scale, delivering a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economy.
This session will be both educational and action oriented, aimed at business leaders, policy makers, investors, and other stakeholders who care about leveraging the power of business to bring positive change to the world. It will be an interactive discussion geared toward discovering opportunities for collaboration.
For more information, please contact us.