Community Engagement Professionals Gather to Learn from and Celebrate Bold Leaders Making Brave Moves in the Field of Corporate Societal Engagement

CECP Presents 2017 Charles H. Moore Award to Balaji Ganapathy, Tata Consultancy Services Recognized for Leadership in Corporate Community Engagement and Societal Advancement
May 23, 2017 8:15 AM ET
Press Release

NEW YORK, May 23, 2017 /3BL Media/– CECP: The CEO Force for Good will convene the 2017 CECP Summit: Brave Leaders. Bold Moves May 23-24, 2017 in NYC, bringing together 250 corporate leaders who drive societal investment strategies at the world’s largest companies. Attendees will learn and connect with the trailblazers making big, bold moves in a complex business climate – those who are taking charge and re-defining ‘purpose’ and success for themselves. CECP is a coalition of more than 200 companies and CEOs that believes that a company’s social strategy--how it engages with key stakeholders including employees, communities, investors, and customers--determines company success.

Sourced from its work with 200+ companies, hundreds of monthly discussions, its proprietary surveys, and conversations with leading experts and on-the-ground practitioners, CECP selected this year’s theme after actions and commitments from the world’s leading corporations emerged as a potentially steadying presence, despite global uncertainty.

During the two-day event, attendees will explore topics that are top-of-mind for leaders striving to advance and integrate corporate social strategy at their companies. Groundbreakers in the field will share powerful perspectives on how corporations can and should step up and out as leaders on pressing societal challenges.

“Business remains uniquely qualified to continue to drive progress in today’s ecosystem as a force for good when it's most needed,” said Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP. “CECP’s Summit offers professionals the setting they need with their corporate peers to discuss common challenges, emerging opportunities, and practical insights to advance their strategies.”

The Summit will include the presentation of the Charles H. Moore Award for Leadership in Corporate Community Engagement, this year awarded to Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Effectiveness, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The “Charlie Award”–named to honor CECP’s founding Executive Director–is presented to individuals who exemplify perseverance in the pursuit of societal advancement, the trait for which Charlie Moore is best known. Under Balaji’s stewardship, TCS is using its technology innovation, thought leadership, skill-based volunteering and philanthropic investments to change the state of STEM education in North America, with a special focus on women and girls, minorities, and underrepresented groups.

“At TCS, we believe that an enterprise’s true purpose is to serve the community and improve the quality of life. We have the unique opportunity to address today’s societal challenges and open the doors to prosperity for all, through the combined power of purpose, people, and technology,” said Balaji Ganapathy. “I am privileged to have helped uphold the Tata Group’s tradition and humbled to be recognized by CECP with the Charles H. Moore Award in Leadership. However, our work is only possible because of the strategic focus of our leadership and the passion and commitment from employees who help support grassroots programs. This dual approach is truly critical in the effort to effect change in meaningful and lasting ways.”

The 2017 CECP Summit will also celebrate companies that demonstrate leadership in CECP’s Pillars of Excellence: CEO Leadership, Partnership, Innovation, Measurement, Integration into

the Business, and Long-Term View. This year’s Company Spotlights include Bank of America, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Citi, Dell, GE, HARMAN, McKesson, Merck & Co., INC. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A., Newman’s Own Foundation, Target, US Bank, and Wal-Mart.

The CECP Summit offers an unparalleled line-up of speakers, including:

  • An opening keynote session with Carly Fiorina, former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will speak to her former peers in the corporate sector about the pressing need for leadership, problem-solving, and collaboration by business to advance societal issues.
  • Corporate responsibility and communications strategist Susan McPherson leads a discussion on situations in which companies turn to leaders of corporate societal engagement to help mitigate risks, mobilize resources and message their values.
  • CNN Hero and Founder of Blink Now, Maggie Doyne will share her experience in identifying an issue, channeling her motivation and limited resources and giving voice to a community in need. Her inspirational story provides a helpful perspective on how to lead in a way that is organic, inclusive and bold.
  • Robin Bronk, CEO, The Creative Coalition on a panel moderated by Gannett | USA TODAY NETWORK Chief Marketing Officer Andy Yost on longstanding and new pressures faced by national and community arts organizations and global and local media, and how business’ role may matter now more than ever.
  • Gabriel Grant, author of Breaking Through Gridlock - The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World, will share a process for transforming the complexity and tension, inherent in a purpose driven workplace, into healthy drivers of innovation.
  • A breakfast keynote on day two with David Simas, former White House Advisor and newly appointed CEO of The Obama Foundation in a fireside chat with Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post Editorial Board.
  • A conversation between the current and former Chairwomen of Carlson, mother-daughter duo Marilyn Carlson Nelson and Diana Nelson, will offer lessons on what it truly means to be a brave leader at the intersection of business and society. Wendy Nelson, Carlson Family Foundation, will honor her mother with an award celebrating Marilyn's service to CECP. 

Breakout sessions will feature a variety of topics:

  • Advancing Strategy: How to Lead Change in Corporate Societal Engagement
  • A Bold Look at Employee Engagement: New technology, new tools, new opportunities
  • Taking Action in Times of Crisis and Change
  • Beyond Lip Service and Good Intentions: Corporate Collaborations that Work
  • The Vital Few - Leading with your Key Metrics
  • Prioritizing the Long Term, Strengthening Your Nonprofit Partners
  • The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World

CECP will also share with attendees results from the Giving in Numbers Survey, an analysis of 2016 corporate giving trends data. In the most complete annual survey of societal engagement, CECP, in association with The Conference Board, heard from 253 multi-billion dollar companies with aggregate revenues of US$7.5 trillion. This trends database is regarded as the leading analysis of corporate societal engagement and giving and covered widely in media year-round (see related press releases and news articles in CECP’s Press Room). The Giving in Numbers Brief, an infographic highlighting the survey’s key findings, will be released to the public in June. 

CECP thanks its Convening Sponsors for their generous support of the 2017 CECP Summit: The Allstate Foundation, BNY Mellon, Citi, KPMG LLP, MasterCard, Newman's Own Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Target, UPS, and USAA.

The application for the 2018 Charlie Award is available on the CECP website and is due June 30, 2017. The award will again be presented at the CECP Summit in 2018 to a senior executive in corporate societal engagement, someone who demonstrates a tenure of impact.

The convening is being held at the Time Warner Center in New York City. Following the conclusion of the 2017 CECP Summit, CECP will be posting on its website media, photos, videos, guest blogs, and an Executive Summary.


CECP: The CEO Force for Good:

CECP is a CEO-led coalition that believes that a company’s social strategy—how it engages with key stakeholders including employees, communities, customers, and investors—determines company success. Founded in 1999 by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman to create a better world through business, CECP has grown to a movement of more than 200 of the world’s largest companies that represent $7 trillion in revenues, $18.6 billion in societal investment, 13 million employees, and $15 trillion in assets under management. CECP helps companies transform their social strategy by providing customized connections and networking, counsel and support, benchmarking and trends, and awareness building and recognition.