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Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

Executives and HR professionals are increasingly recognizing the value of corporate purpose not just for the greater good, but as a vital strategy to attract, retain and engage employees, along with building brand and shareholder loyalty. In an era defined by climate change and social unrest, Canadian businesses are striving to go beyond cursory support of community initiatives to embed purpose at their core.

The Globe and Mail hosted a webcast on October 13 to bring business leaders together to share strategies to build, sustain and grow corporate purpose programs, and to effectively engage consumers and communities.

Missed the live event or would like to view it again? Scroll down to the video player, below.

Ian Bailey, staff reporter with The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau moderated the event, starting with a conversation about changes and trends in corporate purpose with Jean-Baptiste Litrico, director of the Centre for Social Impact, Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Mr. Litrico discussed how corporate purpose programs are no longer a nice-to-have idea for most businesses. He also talked about the main drivers of corporate purpose, along with the skills and competencies required by companies to build successful programs.

A panel discussion followed the interview, during which corporate purpose leaders shared their journeys to date and offered advice for other businesses aiming to build or expand an effective corporate purpose program. Panelists talked about the importance of being honest and transparent, and shared strategies for companies to decide where to focus their efforts. The panel included:

  • Gemma Pryor, senior director, Canada Impact Team, McDonald’s Canada;
  • Jonathan Fowlie, chief external relations officer with Vancity;
  • Rachel Morier, director of sustainability with The Beer Store and Brewers Distributor Ltd.;
  • Eli Browne, director of corporate sustainability with Sobeys.

Watch the full discussion (60 minutes) below:

The Globe and Mail presented the event with sponsor support from McDonald’s Canada. To learn about upcoming Globe and Mail events visit