President Trump passed his 100 day mark this weekend, and reviews are pouring in, including his own. For business leaders, the new administration has turned out to be mostly a pleasant surprise: open to their entreaties, focused on growth, determined to reduce regulation and government excess—and far less focused on anti-trade, anti-immigration, and anti-big-business measures than might have been expected from campaign rhetoric.
Less clear, however, is whether this administration can successfully address the truly big issues facing American society: our broken health care system, the failing education system, or the swelling angst of a huge strata of citizens in danger of being left behind by a tidal wave of new business technologies. Underlying all of these is a badly broken political system, which seems more broken today than ever, incapable of putting aside partisan goals for the greater good.
That’s why, at Fortune, we’ve turned our attention to the power of the private sector to address some of society’s most challenging problems. We were heartened by the work of the 100 CEOs who gathered at the Vatican last December to deliberate on actions they could take to address pressing social problems. Today, it’s clear, a growing number of enlightened CEOs understand that the purpose of business has to extend beyond making profits for shareholders. Their employees, their customers, and the public at large are demanding more of them. And they are rising to the challenge.
To encourage that trend, Fortune and Time are partnering to create The CEO Initiative—which will convene business leaders to exchange best practices and leadership techniques, develop solutions, track tangible results, and shine a spotlight on those making progress in addressing important social goals. This isn’t intended to be an exercise in charity or traditional corporate social responsibility. Rather, it is designed for businesses that want to put a broader purpose at the core of their profit-making activities.
The CEO Initiative will hold its first meeting in New York on September 25. Salesforce has signed on as Founding Partner. Allstate also will be a sponsor. Among the participants will be members of our steering committee, including Tom Wilson of Allstate, Ajay Banga of Mastercard, Joe Kaesar of Siemens, Dom Barton of McKinsey, Hugh Grant of Monsanto, Carlos Gomes da Silva of Galp Energia, Erik Fyrwald of Syngenta, Dan Schulman of Paypal, Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani, Chip Bergh of Levi Strauss, Marc Lautenbach of Pitney Bowes, Greg Becker of Silicon Valley Bank, Dan Glaser of Marsh & McLennan, Roger Crandall of MassMutual, and Tom Quinlan of LSC Communications.
You will be hearing more about this initiative in the months ahead, and about Fortune’s related Change the World list for 2017. This one is important; the future of capitalism—and the world—is at stake.