Blog: The bright future of shared value

Jack Leslie, chairman of Weber Shandwick and mentor of Jeremy Heimans, who won this year’s Inspired Leadership Award at The Performance Theatre in Lisbon, writes about a new generation of emerging leaders who are focused on inspiring global change.

I believe the concept of shared value should be a top priority for any business, which is why it was such an honour to be asked to join the advisory council for The Performance Theatre Foundation’s Inspired Leadership Award. The award has traditionally celebrated global business pioneers who deliver value to both shareholders and society as a whole. Past recipients include Melinda Gates (2014), Unilever CEO Paul Polman (2010) and Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO William Weldon (2009).

This year, under the leadership of Jeremy Hillman, director of corporate communications at The World Bank, the programme was taken in a new direction. The Inspired Leadership Award now recognises young leaders who have shown the potential to achieve positive change on a global scale, recognising individuals who have generated more sustainable and socially responsible business practices, elevated ethical standards in business, and set an example for other organisations and individuals.

This year’s recipient, who I will have the pleasure of mentoring, is Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO of Purpose, a consultancy and creative agency that collaborates with non-profits, philanthropic institutions and progressive companies to build movements, and crowd-based social and economic models to tackle the world’s biggest problems. Their mission is to help companies and organisations connect with the masses globally in order to spark social movements that make a real impact.

Jeremy was one of seven nominees who I had the pleasure of meeting at The Performance Theatre in Lisbon, including Ben Knelman, founder and CEO of Juntos Finanzas; Alec Loorz, director of Circle of Fire; Alejandro Maza Ayala, founder and CEO of Open Intelligence (OPI); Kajsa Li Paludan, co-founder of Redefine.XYZ. and Cultura21; Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Terracycle; and Siya Xuza, founder and managing director of Galactic Energy Ventures.

The ILA nominees are an amazing group of individuals who represent a new generation of emerging leaders whose focus on global change is inspiring and necessary. Under their leadership, business and society stand to benefit in equal proportion – which is the optimal outcome. I look forward to seeing great work from all of them in the future.

Follow Jack Leslie on Twitter: @jackleslie

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