At The Valuable 500 our goal is simple – to position disability equally on the business agenda. By engaging the most influential business leaders and brands in the world, we want to create a tipping point within business that unlocks the social and economic value of the 1.3 billion people living with disabilities around the world, and the millions more who will become disabled over time. We believe that if business takes a lead, society and government will follow. Because truly inclusive businesses can build truly inclusive societies.
Since the campaign launched in 2019, 418 CEOs in 35 countries have committed to putting disability inclusion on their leadership agendas. Their businesses represent $5 trillion in combined revenue and more than 14 million employees.
Now we’re delighted to announce the three partners, who we will be working with to realise our goal in 2021 and beyond.
Japan’s biggest private foundation, The Nippon Foundation, is joining us as a Global Impact Partner and investing $5 million into The Valuable 500 network. This is the largest ever single investment into disability business inclusion and will allow us to launch Phase 2 of our global campaign.
Our next phase is designed to activate the community of 500 CEOs and brands for global change. We will focus on 6 pillars, three internally in organisations: Leadership, Culture and Brand, and three externally: Research, Reporting and Representation. These programmes and services will be developed and delivered in partnership with a number of Iconic CEO partners and companies from among those already signed up. These brands will invest in, help create and road test products and services which will then be rolled out across the 500-business community so together we can drive system change to materially improve disability inclusion within business.
The International Disability Alliance also joins the World Economic Forum as a high impact partner of the campaign, bringing together a leading philanthropic organisation with the most prestigious global business network and the voice of the global disability community.
We are so excited to work with these incredible organisations on radically transforming the business system for the benefit of all those with a disability.
About the Nippon Foundation
The Nippon Foundation, established in 1962, has been involved in activities to support people with disabilities in Japan and around the world for more than 50 years. In the course of working together with disabled people, they have learned that removing the obstacles that prevent equal participation paves the way for everyone – with or without a disability – to demonstrate their full potential.
They believe that for too long disabled people have been stereotyped as people who “need to be protected by society,” and that image needs to be swept aside through a paradigm shift toward viewing people with disabilities as “contributors to society.” Therefore, they continue to lend a helping hand to people facing severe difficulties while also supporting activities that aim to provide equal opportunities.
The Nippon Foundation wants to contribute to that paradigm shift by offering innovative support that seeks to allow people to be valued regardless of their disability. Like us, they believe that the disability inequality crisis cannot be solved by governments and charities alone, it needs the most powerful force on the planet: business.
Mr Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation said:
“Having spent a major part of my life supporting marginalized people left behind the mainstream of society, I am fully convinced that supporting minority disability groups just by reaching out to public institutions such as governments and the United Nations will not bring about effective social change. Unless the majority of society changes, the world will never change. The Valuable 500 initiative brings disability business inclusion commitment into the global CEO community for the first time not simply based on the concept of social welfare.
Social participation for persons with disabilities means to be able to work and to become taxpayers. Work promotes talents leading the way to self-confidence, pride and happiness. A new work environment is created when diverse groups of people, with or without disabilities interact freely and take action.”
About the International Disability Alliance
International Disability Alliance (IDA) is an Alliance of eight global and six regional organisations of persons with disabilities, bringing together over 1,100 organisations of persons with disabilities and their families from over 180 countries.
IDA’s vision is a society which values diversity, respects equality and realises the full potential of persons with disabilities in order to build a better world for all. Its mission is to advance the human rights of persons with disabilities as a united voice of organisations of persons with disabilities utilising the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other human rights instruments.
We firmly believe that when it comes to disability inclusion initiatives, there should be ‘nothing about us without us’ so we’re delighted to have IDA supporting our mission to a more inclusive world.
Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director, International Disability Alliance said:
“It is a great pleasure and honor to serve as a strategic partner to The Valuable 500, together with The Nippon Foundation and the World Economic Forum. For the International Disability Alliance inclusion of persons with disabilities in business is one of the key priorities of our work. The world has advanced significantly in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities over the last several years, especially since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, but discrimination in employment and business remains one of the areas where there is still a lot to be done. That is why the innovative partnership with The Valuable 500 is so important and we are excited to shape the future of the business world together.”
About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and it is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance.
World Economic Forum’s New Economy and Society Platform is focused on building prosperous, inclusive and just economies and societies. The platform takes an integrated and holistic approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice, and aims to tackle exclusion, bias and discrimination related to race, gender, ability, sexual orientation and all other forms of human diversity. It produces data, standards and insights, and drives action initiatives.
Since our launch, the World Economic Forum has served as an accelerator for The Valuable 500. As a high impact partner, the World Economic Forum supports The Valuable 500 to drive business action, capture and disseminate learnings and leverage leadership for scale.
Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum said:
“In the two years since the Valuable 500 launched at Davos, over 400 major corporations have committed to improving disability inclusion in the workplace. This remarkable progress highlights that through thoughtful collective action we can drive meaningful change not just in our workplaces but in our economies and societies”