Future Plans


A series of major events, many of them held virtually, to generate new ideas for reshaping business around the principles for purposeful business.  They will demonstrate the case for change and generating new solutions to enact purpose.

Where and when



The Future of the Corporation has delivered the most comprehensive evidence base yet assembled for purposeful business.  With the resilience of business and society tested to the limit by the COVID-19 pandemic, all of our assumptions around the role of business, investors and government in society are shifting.    The eight Principles for Purposeful Business set out by the programme provide a robust and positive framework to reshape business with the purpose and resilience required to contribute solutions as crises unfold.  Our objectives are:

  • To bring the debate on purposeful business to new audiences and develop a public narrative and consensus supported by businesses, investors and policymakers on the role of business in solving problems of people and planet.
  • To co-develop new ideas and creative solutions to help business leaders, investors and policymakers navigate the pathways to embedding purpose in business practice and policy.


Sector Workstreams (virtual):

bringing together a sector leadership group to define the terms around which a sector can transform itself to become purposeful and convening sector stakeholders in hackathon-style workshops to road-test these ideas.  The aim is to co-develop innovative proposals to build purpose into key sectors over the coming years.  The leadership group will be drawn from leading businesses in the sector, and stakeholders engaged will include groups of young high-fliers and fast-trackers, as well as experts and leaders from business, investors, government, academia and civil society.  Timing: April-December 2020.

Purpose Labs (virtual):

setting up a specific question around the implementation of the Principles for Purposeful Business and using structured techniques to produce answers to the question, drawing on expertise and insight from informed experts.  The aim is to develop proposals that could be applied immediately (1-2 years) and address the current challenges with tools already in place.  The participants will be informed experts and leaders from business, investment, government, academia and civil society.  Timing: April-December 2020.

The Summit:

virtually and in-person, a high profile, public event bringing together high-level speakers who will each present one key idea to shift the dial on purposeful business.  The best ideas from the Sector Workstreams and Purpose Labs will be given a platform here.  The aim is to initiate a public debate on purposeful business and some of the specific proposals being made.  The audience will be key figures and influencers from business, investment, government, academia and civil society.  Timing: June 2020 – March 2021.

Open-source outputs:

each element will lead towards a public set of conclusions sharing the proposals and ideas developed.  These will be collected in a new website with space for open-source contributions. Each element of the series will build on the others, with a final set of conclusions gathered in a publication.


We are seeking partners in the following elements:

  • Financial supporters who can contribute to the costs of the summits.
  • Content partners who will co-develop and co-host the events.
  • Facilitators for the Sector Workstreams and Purpose Labs.


Henry Richards (Senior Futures Lead, The British Academy): h.richards@thebritishacademy.ac.uk

Lilian Barratt (Senior Policy Adviser, The British Academy): l.barratt@thebritishacademy.ac.uk

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