Getting to the root of impact | Purposeful Connections

Sharp perspectives. Deep expertise. Cutting-edge innovations. Purposeful Connections is your bi-weekly source for the latest in purpose and ESG. Subscribe here.


The pandemic has left us in a period of “great contemplation," with 86% of employees believing that meaningful work is more important than ever, and 84% saying they would only work for purpose-driven companies. Prescient corporate leaders are responding: 92% of C-suite leaders believe their organizations would be more successful with a greater focus on purpose.

Through my conversations with guests on Purpose 360, judging purpose awards, and our own research (most recently Purpose Under Pressure, source of the data above), what I am seeing is encouraging. Authentic activation of purpose is growing via multilayered executions, with companies and brands addressing social and environmental issues based on strategic insights, often in collaboration with third parties (NGOs, government and research organizations) to drive real impact for people and planet. Read on for inspiring examples of just that, and watch yesterday's Purpose Under Pressure webinar if you missed it.


BIPOC influencers are paid 29% less than white influencers. Talent agent Annelise Campbell is on a mission to close this gap after spending years working with the very marketing agencies that perpetuated it. Tired of seeing BIPOC influencers paid less by brands, Annelise launched her own talent management firm to work specifically with influencers and creators of color. Beyond advocating for equal (or better) pay, Annelise is hoping brands and marketing agencies will ramp up their investments in the rapidly growing community of BIPOC creators.

  • Fast Company: This talent agent is making sure creators of color get paid fairly

  • PRNewswire: MSL Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap in Influencer Marketing

Jane Goodall, the renowned conservationist, ethologist, and environmental activist, has been immortalized as a Barbie's latest doll. The first in a series of four career-focused dolls featuring women advocating for sustainability, the Jane Goodall Barbie is also certified carbon neutral and accompanied by a partnership between Mattel and the Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots program. A spokesperson for Mattel said, "Kids need more role models like Dr. Jane Goodall, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning—seeing it makes all the difference."

  • NPR: Jane Goodall gets her own Barbie

  • Triple Pundit: Barbie Woos Future Environmentalists with Jane Goodall-Inspired Doll

How many trees will it take to save the world? Tree planting initiatives have long served as a mechanism for corporations and individuals to offset their carbon footprint by paying for trees to be planted in regions around the world. There are hundreds of nonprofit (and some for-profit) organizations that facilitate these projects, often employing local people to physically plant the trees, thus providing a dual impact by supporting economic vitality in underserved regions. But can planting trees really turn back the clock on climate change? This fascinating long read from the New York Times unpacks the tree-planting movement and its impacts on climate and communities.

  • The New York Times: Can Planting a Trillion New Trees Save the World?

Sustainable sneaker band Cariuma is taking a hands-on approach to its social impact. While the company launched with a commitment to plant a tree for every pair sold, the founders realized that the uncertainty of sales volumes didn't translate well to nonprofit planning and operations. This led Cariuma to develop a close working relationship with nonprofit partners, including providing donations up-front based on projected sales for the upcoming six months. Cariuma's impact also goes far beyond planting trees—the company works with partners on projects related to seed biodiversity and economic empowerment for Indigenous populations in the regions where trees are planted.

  • Fast Company: Inside this sneaker startup's efforts to bring biodiversity back to Brazil

  • SOS Mata Atlantica: About

  • CEPAN: About the ReNordestando Campaign

  • Cariuma: About

What our team is reading this week:
  • Andre Norman, Ambassador of Hope

  • Fast Company: To up-level retention, speak the language of growth

  • Sustainable Brands: Water Risk is a Financial Risk

  • Triple Pundit: Your Company's Missing DEI Strategy: Remote Work

  • Sustainable Brands: Carbios, On, Patagonia, PUMA, Salomon Team Up to Advance Circularity of Textiles