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The Companies Changing the World: The Broadsheet

August 19, 2019, 11:39 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia talks about how dance led to her $600 million company, Sen. Elizabeth Warren releases a plan to better fund Native American communities, and these companies are changing the world. Have a mindful Monday. 


- Changing the world. Fortune's Change the World list is out today, highlighting 52 companies that are, well, changing the world through their profit-making activity. 

From plant-based meat alternatives reducing environmentally unfriendly meat consumption to the French eyewear company getting glasses on the faces of those in need, the list is an eclectic mix of companies that have found the business case for doing good. 

Although most of the companies on the list are run by men (Fortune focused on businesses with more than $1 billion in revenue, reducing the pool of women-run companies to choose from), a few stand out. There's No. 48 Patagonia, run by Rose Marcario and chosen for its commitment to making 69% of its clothing from recycled materials. Best Buy, headed by Corie Barry, appears at No. 32 for its commitment to sustainability. Beth Ford's Land O'Lakes makes the cut at No. 45 for an AI app it developed using 30 years of weather data to improve the profitability and reduce the environmental harm of farming. 

You can read a short feature by Fortune's Danielle Abril on Daisy, Apple's new system to reduce e-waste, placing the tech giant at No. 16 on the list. Apple's VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, tells Danielle about how and why Apple is building the hardware recycling system. 

Accenture, soon to be headed by Julie Sweet, joins the list at No. 21 for a program training community health workers in rural Africa. And a few companies are changing the world via their work for women. Mastercard is No. 2 after establishing the first Chamber of Commerce in India devoted to reaching rural women entrepreneurs. No. 29 L'Oréal has trained the women who harvest shea nuts—used in shea butter moisturizers—to limit deforestation and has reduced middlemen to increase those women's incomes. 

And for the big picture, read about the Business Roundtable, or BRT. For decades, the organization of 200 CEOs has put shareholders first. Now, it's redefining its mission. “Value for customers,” “investing in employees,” fostering “diversity and inclusion,” “dealing fairly and ethically with suppliers,” “supporting the communities in which we work,” and “protect[ing] the environment," all come before shareholders in a new mission statement. 

"It’s a question of whether society trusts you or not. We need society to accept what it is that we do," IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, a member of the roundtable, says. (Her company is No. 22 for its blockchain-based software that can stem the flow of food contamination.) 

Take a look at the list for more on the good things big businesses are doing for the world.

Emma Hinchliffe


- A lesson in Class(Pass). ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia gets a Corner Office interview. She talks leaving a demanding job to commit more of her time to dance—which eventually gave her the idea for ClassPass—and the group of founders of Birchbox, Harry's, and Warby Parker that came, like her, out of Bain & Company. New York Times

- Homeroom fights harassment. After the #MeToo movement started cleaning house of chefs accused of harassment, the restaurant and bar industry is taking steps to prevent harassment before it happens. At Homeroom in Oakland, California, owner Erin Wade came up with a color-coded system for servers to flag different levels of dangerous behavior. Fortune

- Redefining pregnancy. Amy McKeown miscarried her baby at 12 weeks and lost her job at EY when she went back to work after six weeks bedridden and 10 weeks hemorrhaging. During the 10 days between when she found out her child had no heartbeat and when she miscarried and during the months afterward, she wasn't protected by U.K. employment law; medically, a pregnancy is defined differently than it is legally, which requires a "developing fetus." McKeown is working to change the law to protect parents who suffer miscarriages. Guardian

- Momofuku's secret weapon. The New York Times spends some time with Marguerite Zabar Mariscal, the new CEO of Momofuku. Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi says 30-year-old Mariscal was the de facto head of the hospitality company long before she officially took the chief executive job. "How Momofuku meets you, how it makes you feel, all the little details, they’re all her," Tosi says. New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Burford Capital reassigned chief financial officer Elizabeth O’Connell to a role as chief strategy officer after investors raised concerns about a husband-and-wife team in the CEO and CFO roles; O'Connell is married to Burford Capital CEO Christopher Bogart. Megan Greenwell quit as editor-in-chief of Deadspin after being "repeatedly undermined, lied to, and gaslit" in the job, she says, by ownership at the new G/O Media. 


- Life after Gamergate. Five years after Gamergate, a group of writers analyze how the misogynistic attack on gamer Zoe Quinn set the stage for our current politics and techniques of online harassment. As part of the package, New York Times writer Sarah Jeong reflects on the online trolls that targeted her over joking tweets about white people a year ago. New York Times

- Warren and Haaland. Before her dozens (?) of policy plans catapulted her to the top of the Democratic presidential field, Sen. Elizabeth Warren stepped into an early campaign controversy when she tried to prove her Native American heritage to counter attacks on the claim by President Trump. That move wasn't received well by Native Americans; now Warren has come out with a plan to aid those communities. Legislation drafted with Rep. Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native Americans in Congress, would remove funding for programs in Indian Country from the congressional appropriations process; Warren also addressed the crisis over missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. CNN

- Nike catches up. Facing increased scrutiny over its treatment of pregnant athletes—as shared by track and field stars Allyson Felix, Alysia Montaño, and Phoebe Wright—Nike has expanded contract protections for sponsored athletes who have children. Nike will now guarantee that pay and bonuses cannot be cut during the eight months before the athlete’s due date and the 10 months after. Washington Post

- Afghanistan's ambassador. Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States Roya Rahmani talks about her path to the ambassadorship—a surprising one, helped by Afghanistan's eagerness to signal its support for women's rights—ahead of an expected peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban. The deal could be released in days, and it may defer protections for women to later talks. New York Times

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-Basketball star Sue Bird. She and Diana Taurasi lobbied to change USA Basketball's schedule to allow for more practice time and to generate more exposure.