Dr. James Mwangi is one of 14 CEO's who have pledged to promote cross-sector collaboration in the development of a purpose-driven economy. In a joint statement, the CEO's outlined their vision for a more equal, inclusive, and sustainable economy that is better able to withstand pandemics, climate change, and other global challenges. The letter, endorsed by the UN Secretary General and other prominent figures, calls for businesses, governments, and development organizations to support the transition to a purpose-first economy that allows such businesses to thrive. The CEO's have declared their commitment to building a better economy rather than simply rebuilding the current one and have invited global leaders to join them in this effort. They see purpose-first enterprises as constituting a fourth economy at the intersection of the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

The global corporate leaders who signed the letter represent a combined annual revenue of over $100 billion USD and a combined global workforce of over 500,000. Rather than simply "building it back," they have proposed a roadmap to "build the economic system better" after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In signing the letter, Dr. Mwangi said that the current state of the world economy, as revealed by the inequality brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, has left business leaders with only one choice: to recognize that the current system only works for a few, rather than the majority of the world's population. He stated that this demonstrates that the economic and social system we have relied on is broken and that we must, as a cohesive community of leaders, address this inequality and serve humanity in a more productive and concerted way

Dr. Mwangi added that he is honored that Equity's business model, which is centered on inclusion, high volume, low margin, and the purpose of transforming lives, giving dignity, and expanding opportunities for wealth creation, is well aligned with the call for a purpose-first economy. He mentioned that this 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 was affirmed by the 2020 Oslo Business Award for Peace as a business worthy initiative that ethically creates economic and societal value. Dr. Mwangi stated that he is committed to continuing to champion 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, resulting in a healthy society within planetary boundaries for future generations.

Before signing the open letter, the signatory CEOs worked with the Leaders on Purpose team, which includes experts from Harvard University, Unilever, The World Bank, and The London School of Economics, on a White Paper focused on purpose-driven businesses that will be released at the 3rd Annual Leaders on Purpose CEO Summit. This year's summit will take place virtually on the sidelines of the 2020 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Dr. Mwangi will play a crucial role in the event, serving as Co-Chair and panelist in discussions on how to create a purpose-first economy. The outcome document of the summit will be presented to world leaders at the November G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia and to the leaders attending the Davos World Economic Forum gathering in 2021. The initiative will be carried forward into other global forums in the coming years.

Dr. Mwangi said, "It is an honor to join other like-minded leaders at this trying time when we need to come together to reset and champion the structural rebuilding of the world by improving equality, financial, social, economic and digital inclusion, and people's dignity. Business leaders have a central role to play in how the world emerges from the COVID-19 crisis. I hope that more leaders will sign the global call to action and join hands in creating a purpose-first economy.

The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that our global system needs an overhaul. No business can thrive in a failed environment, and it is our responsibility to partner with all stakeholders if we are to be successful in reimagining and addressing market failures in the world. I look forward to working with my fellow CEOs, government leaders, development organizations/agencies, the United Nations, the private sector, and civil society to make the world a much better place for humanity."