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Creating a Better World through Business

By Nandika Madgavkar, Senior Director, Strategy, CECP

“Two heads are better than one,” is a proverb ascribed to a certain John Heywood in 1546. But, what if instead of two, it was six, or twelve? At CECP, we believe that businesses are a force for good and their collective wisdom will make the world a better place.

In 1999, Paul Newman had a vision of creating a coalition of businesses to tackle the world’s most pressing societal challenges. Today, CECP has grown into a movement of more than 200 of the world’s largest companies representing $7 trillion in revenues and $18.6 billion in societal investment. So, how do we make long-term positive change happen?

CECP, a coalition-based organization, leverages several tools to convene companies to address some of the world’s most pressing problems. “Every day I see the power of our cross-functional business leaders at work, from disaster relief to diversity and inclusion to tackling the issue of patient capital, our members are pushing us to go deeper,” says Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP at any given time.

Last year, CECP undertook a study on diversity and inclusion through the lens of corporate social engagement. The study which probed companies like UPS, Intel, PSE&G and many others on several key issues related to D&I will be published in late October 2018. However, there were enough questions raised that it resulted in the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Accelerate Community.

What you might ask is an Accelerate Community? Well, these are cross-functional leaders from Fortune 500 companies who convene in small groups to discuss an issue or a topic that might be posing an opportunity or a challenge for them. Companies self-select to join a group based on their topic of interest and meet, both in-person and virtually, around four times a year to dive deep into their priority area. Peer-to-peer learning and the bond that companies form allows them to have an informal forum which they can then tap into at any point after the program is concluded.

Communities draw upon curated CECP and subject matter expertise and the output is either a brief on the findings, or a white paper, but the outcome, which to me is far more valuable is a/the formation of a collective, b/the development of certain actionable best practices that can be applied to the day-to-day workings of a corporate team and, c/the ideal state – the forming and/or changing of existing company policies for the greater good. The power of collective thought leads to a better informed and more aware company.

This year CECP is offering five topics which we know are top of mind for companies:

  • Measure to Manage: A Guide to Social Scorecards – the focus of this community is to determine the metrics that best represent the work of the organization for its different audiences. At the end of the program, each company will have actionable insights for their internal reporting, whether a scorecard, KPIs, or dashboard. This is a great community for companies looking to leverage metrics to achieve their strategy and goals.
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Corporate Social Engagement – join a forum of companies such as PSE&G, Amerisource Bergen, New York Life and others for an open and candid conversation about the opportunities and challenges for addressing D&I in the corporate social engagement space. You’ll walk away with best practices and, hopefully, devise certain guiding principles for the benefit of other corporations.
  • Systemic Investments in Equity, Talent, and Tech – examine how companies can more effectively drive excellence, equity, and long-term systemic improvements in workforce development and TEM education. Led by Dr. Kamau Bobb, a national authority in STEM education, the community will focus on uncovering opportunities for collective action.
  • Employee Engagement Communications – who doesn’t struggle with getting corporate messages out to employees? Join your peers to share best practices, create awareness, test and refine the Employee Communications Tool created in year one.
  • Opioid Epidemic: Corporate Response – in collaboration with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending addiction, companies will learn and share solutions affecting company policies, employee support, and community investments. The opioid epidemic, as we all know, is so pervasive that many employees have a family member or an extended family member who is struggling and they need all the help their companies can give them whether it is educational, or resource based.

I know, having once been a member of CECP, the value, the thoughtfulness, and the gravitas that the organization brings to its services. CECP’s goal is to provide the highest quality experience for our member organizations. These communities, some led by external subject matter experts and some by internal experts, are well curated and meaningful resulting in advancing social good for all. And, isn’t that what we all want?

For more information about these communities or to learn more about CECP email me at