Global CEOs don’t need another outlet for sharing their ideas. They have the Business Roundtable, the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and countless other platforms for communicating their thoughts to one another—and the rest of the world. But as it becomes increasingly clear that corporate chieftains don’t necessarily have all the answers (see “The New Capitalism,”), we at Fast Company are excited to have launched a new initiative, the Fast Company Impact Council, to bring together a diverse group of business and cultural leaders—people who don’t normally travel in the same circles—for meaningful conversations about how to run a smart company in 2019 and beyond.
At the first meeting of the 200-strong council, in April, chief innovation officers from big corporations mingled with founders of direct-to-consumer brands. Designers networked with finance executives. Their common goal? To build innovative, robust businesses that can also be a positive force in the communities and countries where they operate.
The Impact Council is onto something. A recent Deloitte survey found that 28% of millennials believe that companies should try to make a profit while 32% said businesses should also try to improve society. “Their children and their children’s children will probably have those perspectives, but even more magnified,” said Howard Buffett, grandson of Warren Buffett and author of the book Social Value Investing. To thrive in the future, executives are going to have to embrace many of the ideas and insights we’re sharing here. In other words, they’ll have to lead with impact.