Middlesex to host ‘Leading with a Purpose’ webinar Thursday

Panelists to discuss how companies can improve quality of life for their stakeholders

Having a sense of purpose has practically become the price of admission in the business world.

Companies with a driving purpose that go beyond just emphasizing profitability and focus on creating “value” for all of their stakeholders are winning the day.

As part of the Fifth Annual Middlesex County Business Summit, a virtual presentation, “Leading with a Purpose,” welcomes a panel of forward-thinking business leaders who will address how companies are operating and evolving to meet the needs of their stakeholders: employees, customers, supply chains, advisers and the community, as COVID-19 continues to affect traditional business standards.

The event is 8:30-10:30 Thursday morning. There is no cost to attend. Register here.

The event is the third part of a miniseries hosted by Middlesex County intended to illustrate how the county continues to implement its future-forward economic development strategy as part of a larger strategic planning initiative, Destination 2040.

Cordell Carter, executive director, Aspen Institute, will moderate the event. Panelists include:

  • Lou Cooperhouse, CEO, BlueNalu;
  • Monique Carswell, director, Center for Racial Equity, Walmart Foundation;
  • Gene Gurevich, director of policy and business development, Mobileye;
  • Natalie Madeira Cofield, assistant administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership, U.S. Small Business Administration;
  • Sandy Castor, director, Office of Business Engagement, Middlesex County.

Panelists will focus on how Middlesex County, in partnership with business leaders, is creating a sense of purpose in the ever-changing workplace. Operating with a purpose plays a key role in enhancing brand loyalty. Fortune 500 companies are increasingly incorporating purpose into their business — and this naturally has trickled down to the local level, including Middlesex County and throughout the state.

More and more consumers are expecting companies to have a purpose, particularly younger consumers. For example, millennials (20% of U.S. population) and Gen Z (21%) increasingly make buying decisions based on factors beyond price, such as a company’s purpose.

Consumers are expected to continue exercising this leverage. Millennials and Gen Z also increasingly look at employers in the same way — they want to work for a company that is committed to the greater good, according to a 2020 survey from EY.

Purpose can include things such as community growth, poverty reduction, environmental friendliness, trust (as more and more purchases are made, online privacy is a prevalent issue) or just spreading happiness.

By supporting purpose-driven businesses (and being a purpose-driven county) Middlesex County is enabling the creation of new, better and more convenient products, technologies and services — and attracting and retaining the companies that develop them in a supportive ecosystem. It is also providing healthier qualify of life for its residents, ranging from health care to sustainability, to education and opportunity.

These companies, in turn, are creating new job opportunities for county residents. The county, in turn, helps prepare workers for these high-tech jobs through its SkillUp Program. Middlesex County “as a business” is part of the story. The county has been on “a journey we’ve been on to get to where we are today.”