Each year, Business for Peace recognises exceptional global business leaders who exemplify the Foundation’s concept of being businessworthy by ethically creating economic value that also creates value for society.
Honourees are selected by an independent committee of Nobel Prize Laureates in Peace and in Economics after a global nomination process through the the Foundation’s partners: the International Chamber of Commerce, United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Development Programme, and Principles for Responsible Investment.
The 2020 recipients of the Oslo Business for Peace Award are Marc Benioff: Co-Founder, Chair, and CEO of Salesforce (USA); Felicitas “Joji” Bautista Pantoja: CEO and Co-Founder of Coffee for Peace (Philippines/Canada); and Dr James Mwangi: CEO and Managing Director of Equity Bank (Kenya).
Read the press release here and watch the video below to learn more.
Marc Benioff (USA)
Co-Founder, Chair, and CEO of Salesforce
Marc Benioff is the Co-Founder, Chair, and CEO and of Salesforce, the number one provider of Customer Relationship Management software globally. He is a pioneer of cloud computing and is an advocate for stakeholder capitalism. When founding Salesforce, Benioff established the 1-1-1 model of philanthropy, whereby a company contributes one percent of its profits, equity, and employee hours back to the communities it serves. Today, more than 10,000 companies have adopted the 1-1-1 model through the Pledge 1% movement. Benioff has also been widely recognised for his leadership on equality, including eliminating the gender wage gap at Salesforce and advocating for LGBTQ rights.
“It is a great honour to be recognised by the Business for Peace Foundation, which recognises that businesses have profound responsibilities to all our stakeholders, including our communities and our planet,” said Benioff. “As more companies embrace stakeholder capitalism and commit to meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, we see that business is the greatest platform for change.”
Joji Felicitas Bautista Pantoja (Lakambini Mapayapa) (Philippines/Canada)
Co-Founder and CEO of Coffee for Peace
“Joji” Felicitas Baustista Pantoja is the CEO and Co-Founder of Coffee for Peace, which uses coffee production as a tool to address economic and conflict challenges in the Philippines. During her time as a peace worker, Pantoja noticed the power of coffee to bring people together despite their differences. It was from this realisation that Coffee for Peace was born. The company provides sustainable livelihoods for Indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, having helped over 880 farmers escape poverty so far. Pantoja has dedicated her career to building peace in conflict zones through social enterprise.
“This recognition brings hope. It affirms the dreams and aspirations of our small farming partners, micro-enterprise partners, impact investors, and employees that there are respectable people in the business world who believe in and serve as ‘cheerleaders’ for us who struggle for economic justice. This recognition affirms that inclusive development can be a reality through social enterprise,” says Pantoja.
Dr James Mwangi (Kenya)
Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings
Dr James Mwangi is the Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, the leading bank in East and Central Africa, which focuses on serving customers at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Growing up in a rural village in Kenya, Mwangi experienced first-hand how exclusion from the financial system meant exclusion from society. Through his work, he has given 96% of the un-banked population in the country the opportunity for broader economic participation. Under his leadership, Equity Bank is now one of the most inclusive banks in the world with 13 million clients across the socio-economic spectrum.
“I dedicate this Award to our staff and to the millions of our customers who have continuously inspired us by trusting and believing in our common purpose and dream, that together we can solve our problems by seeking innovative solutions anchored on shared value and prosperity,” said Mwangi. “I share this award with our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs who wake up every day to create wealth and opportunities for our society. This Award is a great inspiration to all Africans to believe in their dreams and to pursue them with dedication and conviction that together, we can change our continent within our lifetime.”
From the Award Committee:
“The 2020 Honourees are business leaders who prove – both to society and to the global business community – that there are other ways to think about value creation than financial profits. Their successes show how businesses can and should be concerned with social matters and create value not only for shareholders, but for society as a whole. The 2020 Honourees are facilitating peace-building processes in conflict-affected communities, disrupting the finance sector to make banking accessible to all, championing a new type of business leadership and promoting inclusive economic growth and fair work.”