Economics/Class Relations

The CEO’s critical role in restoring public trust in institutions

Beware of woke capitalism.


Even before the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020, most CEOs would have likely agreed that today’s leadership requires attention to a broader set of stakeholders. But the health crisis forced CEOs to juggle their efforts to support employees, customers, suppliers, communities, shareholders, and more like never before. The past year highlighted that the era of multi-stakeholder responsibility is here, and here to stay.

But the trials-and-errors of getting multi-stakeholderism “right” are still playing out live and in real time, generating more questions than answers. If CEOs and corporations are now assuming responsibility for the good of their communities and stakeholders, are they comfortable with that responsibility? Are we as a society comfortable with them having that responsibility? Do we trust them to define what “good” is, for which stakeholders? And where does the role of government end, and the role of business begin?


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