ILSI collaborated with Scheller College of Business’s Net Impact and Blacks in Business Clubs to kick off our first Impact Lunchtime Talks event for the Spring. Scheller MBA, Angel Daniels, facilitated our conversation with Kwasi Mitchell, Chief Purpose Officer of Deloitte. The dialogue covered the development of Kwasi’s role, his past experiences, and his involvement as a nonprofit board member.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in your current role as Deloitte’s Chief Purpose Officer?
First of all, having people understand what Chief Purpose Officer does. The last time we did a poll across Fortune 500, there were only 30-40 CPOs. Secondly, being very clear on the impact we as an organization are trying to drive. In 2019, we changed the definition of the purpose of an organization. Thirdly, helping us determine when we want to use our voice as an organization and being thoughtful of the things we can influence that are in line with our core values.
Q: Regarding your positions outside of Deloitte, you’ve had some great opportunities to apply your expertise as a board member for several nonprofits. Can you discuss entering and leading in this space?
A: Urban Alliance, headquartered in DC, focuses on a combination of mentorship and job skills for youth. I initially helped them in a pro bono project we started at Deloitte focused on how we could think about scaling to other markets. Being able to work with nonprofits, specifically on items that are the key challenges they have in front of them from serving and delivering on their mission is the mentality that I’ve always taken into relationships. My focus on working with different orgs is about how do we create pathways for others. It’s less my chemistry background and more my lived experience that has me engaged in serving orgs and thinking about the way we should be serving the youth or the populations they’re interacting with.
Q: What do you consider some of your greatest accomplishments regarding creating pathways for people who face systemic challenges?
I promised my mom in High School that someday I’d have a job where I’d be able to afford her rent and provide a lifestyle for her that I think she deserves. I was able to deliver on that shortly after earning my PhD. Expenses like paying rent for a parent or taking care of a sibling are systemic challenges that others don’t have. Thinking of ways we can level that playing field for all is important.
You can watch the full conversation on ILSI’s YouTube channel, along with some of the other outstanding Impact presentations from this and previous seasons.
The Institute for Leadership and Social Impact is an interdisciplinary institute that promotes servant leadership and social innovation that contribute to a more just, caring, and equitable world.