Heroes of Conscious Capitalism – 2017 Class

Inaugural “Heroes of Conscious Capitalism” Honorees Announced

Corporate and academic leaders recognized for their conscious practice of capitalism and as examples of how purpose-driven businesses can make the world a better place

We are excited to share with you our inaugural “Heroes of Conscious Capitalism” Class of 2017! Comprising the list as announced at Conscious Capitalism’s 11th annual CEO Summit in Austin, Texas are twenty-eight leaders from twenty-three organizations being recognized for their contributions toward realizing a world in which business is both practiced and recognized as a force for good.


Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business” is the subtitle of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Conscious Capitalism. Written by CCI co-founders John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, the book provides a theoretical and practical framework to live out Conscious Capitalist principles. “Heroes of Conscious Capitalism” honors exemplary leaders who have embodied these principles through the work they have done, the lessons they have learned and the positive impact they have made on the world.

Business is not something handed down or imposed from the outside. Each business is created and driven by the people involved. This award recognizes the heroic leaders who understand that a more conscious practice of capitalism better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of the world today and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world.

Alexander McCobin, CCI’s CEO

To be recognized among the “Heroes of Conscious Capitalism,” a business or academic leader must receive two-thirds approval from the CCI Board of Directors upon being nominated for exhibiting or promoting the following characteristics, which are aligned with the Conscious Capitalist Credo:

  • They are galvanized by higher purposes that serve, align, and integrate the interests of all their company’s major stakeholders.
  • Their higher state of consciousness makes visible to them the interdependencies that exist across all stakeholders, allowing them to discover and harvest synergies from situations that otherwise seem replete with trade-offs.
  • They are driven by service to their company’s purpose, all the people the business touches, and the planet we all share together.
  • They strive to create trusting, authentic, innovative and caring company cultures that make working there a source of both personal growth and professional fulfillment.
  • They endeavor to create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical and ecological wealth for all their stakeholders.

“Conscious Capitalists take their leadership responsibilities to a higher standard as they must continually look beyond settling for trade-offs on competing interests and constantly seek solutions to create win-win-win results for all stakeholders,” said McCobin. “We absolutely believe there is a need to recognize and hold in high esteem such business leaders who successfully achieve this higher standard as true heroes in our society.”

Business leaders honored as “Heroes of Conscious Capitalism” for the inaugural Class of 2017 are:

Selim Bassoul – Middleby Corporation
Howard Behar – Starbucks (formerly)
Michael C. Bush – Great Place to Work
Bob Chapman – Barry Wehmiller
Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy – B-Lab
R. Edward Freeman – University of Virginia Darden School of Business
David and Tom Gardner – The Motley Fool
Daniel Lubetzky – KIND
Danny Meyer – Union Square Hospitality Group
Denise Morrison – Campbell Soup Company
Indra Nooyi – PepsiCo
Blake, Erik and Peter Nordstrom – Nordstrom
Paul Polman – Unilever
Melissa Reiff – The Container Store
Walter Robb – Whole Foods Market (formerly)
Brian Schultz – Studio Movie Grill
Tony Schwartz – The Energy Project
Ron Shaich – Panera Bread
Casey Sheahan – Keen
Jostein Solheim – Ben & Jerry’s
Roy Spence – GSD&M and The Purpose Institute
Ratan Tata – Tata Group
Sunny Vanderbeck – Satori Capital

Full profiles for each recipient of the inaugural “Heroes of Conscious Capitalism” award can be found at