NIPPON Foundation invests $5 MN into the VALUABLE 500
The Nippon Foundation is joining as a Global Impact Partner of the Valuable 500 and investing $5 MN into the largest network of global CEOs committed to disability inclusion in business. This is the largest ever single investment into disability business inclusion.
This announcement comes as the International Disability Alliance join the World Economic Forum as The Valuable 500’s new high impact partner. Bringing together a leading philanthropic organization with the most prestigious global business network and the voice of the global disability community.
Following the announcement Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation said: “It is truly a special day as we officially announce our partnership with The Valuable 500. The Nippon Foundation has been in constant pursuit of supporting persons with disabilities around the world since our establishment in 1962, and we have invested more than $1.3 BN in education and social welfare since then.
“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. The initiative of The Valuable 500 coincides with my conviction. I am very happy that we, The Nippon Foundation can cooperate with The Valuable 500 as its Global Impact Partner. I sincerely hope that we will be able to be a “game-changer“ in order to realize a better world, an inclusive society, together with by using this new initiative of The Valuable 500 to its full capacity.”
Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director, International Disability Alliance, also comments: “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 and 415 companies is so important and we are excited to shape the future of the business world together.”
The funding allows The Valuable 500 to launch Phase 2 of its global campaign shortly. This is designed to activate the community of 500 CEOs and brands for global change. Phase 2 will focus on 6 pillars, three internally in organizations namely Leadership, Culture, and Brand, and three externally, Research, Reporting, and Representation. These programs 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 represent some of the largest brands in the world which 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 a business.
The announcement of the investment and partnerships come as a further 54 corporations announce membership, bringing the total to 415 companies that have joined The Valuable 500 to pledge their accountability for improving disability inclusion in their businesses.
Launched at Davos in January 2019 by Caroline Casey and Paul Polman with the World Economic Forum, The Valuable 500 is the global CEO community dedicated to radically transforming the business system across the whole supply chain for the benefit of all those with a disability. In two years, over 400 CEOs have joined this community.