Former YMCA CEO Arvinda Gohil appointed chair of Future Economy Alliance

‘When businesses share profits and power, then we can really start building a fairer and more sustainable world’

The Future Economy Alliance, a cross-sector group campaigning for purpose-led business, has appointed experienced campaigner Arvinda Gohil as its chair.

The Alliance is a group of more than 25 organisations – including Community Energy England, Co-operatives UK, Cwmpas, the Employee Ownership Association, Fair Tax Foundation, Locality, Power to Change, Social Enterprise Scotland and Social Enterprise UK – who propose “a new business plan for Britain in which all of society profits”.

Gohil has 41 years of experience in executive and non-executive leadership under her belt – most recently as CEO at Central YMCA before stepping down earlier this year to focus on her numerous non-executive, trustee and consultancy roles. She sits on the board of social change community the Conduit and is a trustee at Voluntary Action Camden. With an expertise in social housing, she is also board member at Sanctuary Housing and chairs its subsidiary Swan Housing Association.

In 2019, she was awarded the OBE for services to the community and housing for vulnerable people. 

Arvinda Gohil

“It’s really exciting to be part of the Future Economy Alliance,” she said, “bringing together and supporting the UK’s mission-led business leaders to make this pioneering minority become the national norm. When businesses share profits and power, then we can really start building a fairer and more sustainable world.

“Our economy shapes our world, creating prosperity and opportunity – but also some of our greatest environmental and social challenges, which the state alone cannot resolve. With a general election imminent, our new generation of purpose-driven pioneers is ready to guide the next parliament in the bold reforms needed to make the UK economy deliver for people and planet.”

Cross-bench peer and social entrepreneur Lord Victor Adebowale, who helped to launch the campaign, added: “With the UK economy facing significant challenges, our country needs a bold and ambitious vision: a new business plan for Britain. Sadly, this is not forthcoming at present, so the Future Economy Alliance has been established to drive the business of change.

“Our partnership of cross-sector business experts will assemble the best examples from across the UK of what’s working well but also how and where business can do better. We can transform the UK economy, enhance our nation’s prospects, and restore a sense of hope and pride – within public services, within communities and within us all.”

New research published by the Alliance reveals that only one in three UK adults feel business has a positive impact on the national economy, and just a quarter believe it benefits wider society, while many said it has no impact at all or is actively negative. The research also highlights public support for the purpose-driven approaches represented in the Alliance, with most (59%) saying businesses should give social or environmental concerns equal or higher priority to profits.