By Ellen McGirt
Updated: February 22, 2018 1:09 PM ET

Just a quick announcement uptop today, though there is plenty of news to ponder below.

I’m joining my esteemed colleagues Clifton Leaf and Adam Lashinsky as co-chair of the CEO Initiative, Fortune’s now annual meeting of leaders who are dedicated to finding ways to do well in business by doing good in the world.

This drive to purpose has increasingly been a focus of Fortune’s coverage, with our now annual Change The World issue being only one of many examples. But this particular initiative had its genesis in Rome, at the 2016 Fortune-Time Global Forum, when His Holiness Pope Francis asked business leaders to take their time together to put forth concrete ideas that will help address inequality in the world and promote peaceful and inclusive cultures.

From his remarks:

Inequality between peoples continues to rise, and many communities are impacted directly by war and poverty, or the migration and displacement which flow from them. People want to make their voices heard and express their concerns and fears. They want to make their rightful contribution to their local communities and broader society, and to benefit from the resources and development too often reserved for the few.

These are not easy conversations. At the inaugural event last September, I helped lead a discussion about diversity in the workplace that was notable for its candor and empathy. The working groups that followed dug deeply into the unmet needs in the world — global health, workforce development, energy and climate change, etc. — then created action plans and developed mechanisms for tracking progress on proposed solutions.

The next CEO Initiative will be held June 25 and 26 in San Francisco, and I promise to look for ways to loop in perspectives from the raceAhead community as the planning continues.

What do you call one hundred CEOs in a room dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems? A damn good start, I’d say.


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