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To examine some pressing questions at the intersection of purpose and profit, two University of Michigan MBA students and their professor recently conducted a series of interviews with Paul Polman, former Unilever CEO. While at Unilever, Polman focused on long-term goals surrounding social and environmental progress. Today, he serves as co-founder and chair of IMAGINE, a nonprofit advancing sustainability through collaborative actions.

While originally written for business students and young professionals, we found the information insightful for anyone looking to bring more purpose into their career.


Some advice from their Harvard Business School piece:

  • Take the time to discern your purpose and values. 

  • Develop your sphere of influence.

  • When the opportunity arises, change the system.

  • Start where you are.

As a fearless 10-year-old, Gwen Goldman defied gender norms and petitioned the Yankees to be a bat girl. Sixty years later, her dream was fulfilled.
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