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by Jim Boyle, President, Alliance for Business Leadership, and CEO, Sustainability Roundtable

Two weeks ago a select group of about three dozen Alliance Leaders made the trip to Washington DC with the message that “Growth Economy Leaders” (those regularly adding terrific jobs with a future in the U.S.) are committed to supporting higher standards in workforce development, a cleaner economy, and improving health care for all.  Through meetings with Senators and their staffs, aligned business associations, foundations and White House lead for business engagement, we deepened our relationships with key allies and increased the Alliance’s ability to assist business leaders who are committed to leading publicly for a more just and sustainable economy.

Alliance Leaders are now deep into follow-up with Senate offices and participating business groups including Business Forward, the American Sustainable Business Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Meanwhile, other Alliance Leaders are returning from a trade mission in Israel with Massachusetts Governor Patrick and still other Alliance Leaders are preparing to host more than a hundred CEOs (including Governor Patrick and the Mayor of Boston) June 11 at MIT for Clearing The Path – an agenda-setting, CEO-only event to advance women in business leadership.

capitol_building_tulips-narrowOur Visit to the US Senate:

Each year our visit to DC brings home how unusual it is for a business-leadership community to be united by a shared commitment to greater shared responsibility. It is unusual, in part, because it takes an uncommon amount of actuating empathy, humility and commitment for business leaders to engage in public leadership towards a more just and sustainable society. 

Which is why I want to offer a special thank you to the Alliance Leaders who returned to DC and the almost equal number who joined us for the first time there. Whether it was meeting with Senator Warren, who proposed an innovative partnership with labor (which we are exploring), or with a clearly-impressed Senator Markey and staff or with a now fully-engaged White House and foundations – it is clear our “theory of change” resonates.

Our Theory of Change:

Each of these groups now recognizes that ours is an unusual business community — one that joins them in recognizing that in an increasingly global and knowledge-based economy: (a) there is an increasing need for greater shared responsibility – across issues; (b) that those opposed to greater shared responsibility argue primarily that it would hurt business and, therefore, (c) it is enormously impactful to empower successful business leaders to speak to the business benefit of greater shared responsibility in a changing world.

Beginning and deepening so many important relationships (both personal and intellectual) in the Senate has certainly enhanced our Alliance’s ability to assist Alliance Leaders in advancing higher standards in access to healthcare, workforce development and the move to a cleaner economy.

Moving to Action:

The Alliance continues its work on Health & Wellness, Workforce Development and a Clean Economy through our Working Groups of leaders committed to helping invent a more just and sustainable society.  If you are interested in participating in the Alliance’s work going forward, please get in touch with us via our “Get Involved” page.  Although we value deep expertise in each Working Group, participation of CEOs and investors outside the field is especially helpful to our cross-sectors Alliance.

The most-motivated CEOs and investors will have an opportunity to help lead in these Working Groups which have provided brilliant help in preparing for and following-up on events like our visit to DC and our newly-planned eighth annual CEO Summit in Boston October 22nd which will examine CEO leadership in sustainable practices, investing and policy.

I look forward to seeing so many of you at MIT June 11 to advance Clearing the Path for women in business leadership.  Thank you for your leadership!