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Social impact firm Purpose joins Capgemini

By The Drum Network, Staff Writer

May 1, 2020 | 4 min read

On February 12, 2020, Capgemini announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Purpose, one of the world’s leading social impact agencies and hub for campaign innovation, headquartered in New York with outlets across the globe. The expertise of Purpose’s 100 campaigners, creatives, strategists and technologists, combined with Capgemini Invent, the digital innovation, consulting and transformation brand of the Capgemini Group, will further support clients to transform their business models and practices for impact, and engage their stakeholders in making meaningful contributions to society.

Founded in New York in 2009, Purpose has spent the last decade building a footprint and reputation for enabling impact across six continents by creating purpose-driven campaigns, branding, creative content, and participatory social impact strategies to a blue-chip client roster. It has launched major initiatives on issues ranging from refugees to international LGBT rights and established relationships with global brands and corporations, major philanthropies, the UN system, and many of the world’s leading civil society organisations.

Cyril Garcia, chief executive officer of Capgemini Invent and member of the group executive board, said: “Heightened demands from stakeholders have driven a major shift towards building business with purpose. For many large companies, this has evolved beyond corporate social responsibility to business transformation and the need for a redefinition of business models, practices and culture".

“Purpose joining Capgemini will bolster the capabilities of our teams that are working closely with senior executives and boards, to envision and build what’s next for their organisation. Placing a positive contribution to society at the core of what they do, rethinking their commitment to Sustainable Development Goals, and committing to strong action on climate change, are the new imperatives for a sustainable business in the coming years.”

As an agency, Purpose helps clients harness participation for meaningful social impact. Its market-leading capabilities will offer the Capgemini Group’s clients a critical dimension to their business transformation strategy as well as new sources of shared value creation.

Purpose’s approach consists of four key components: its Labs that develop new public engagement innovations on the most important issues of the day such as climate change and international development; the agency team which develops social impact strategies, builds campaigns and crafts creative content; innovative technology that underpins its services including measurement and training tools; and finally, a host of methodologies that foster participation and help move people to action. Each of these elements work hand in hand to shape and deliver effective and impactful campaigns.

Jeremy Heimans, chief executive officer and co-founder of Purpose said: “By joining the Capgemini Group, we can truly take Purpose to the world — dramatically growing our scale and impact at a crucial moment for so many of the issues we care about. Capgemini Invent, combined with the wider Group’s scale, offers us access to vast technological capacity, unrivaled data and analytics, and a deep understanding of how to change organisations and business models from the inside out. This opens up extraordinary possibilities for the campaigns that we can create and the global organisations that we can advise and support.”

Purpose will continue to operate as a Public Benefit Corporation in pursuit of its mission of advancing a more open, just and habitable world. The parties intend for Purpose to be run independently as previously, and for senior management to remain in place. It will operate within the Capgemini Group under a policy of “Editorial Independence,” ensuring that Purpose retains its own unique and prominent voice and perspective on major global issues.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions precedent.


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