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The Fourth Sector

Over the past two decades, the lines between the public, private, and non-profit sectors have been blurred as many pioneering organizations have started to blend social and environmental goals with business. Even though these hybrid organizations come in a variety of forms (B corporations, cooperatives, social and sustainable enterprises, civic ventures, etc.), they all share the goal of achieving financial success while minimizing negative externalities and delivering strong social and environmental benefits. As a result, these enterprises represent society's best chance of attaining the UN established Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time such as rising inequality, poverty and climate change.

Nevertheless, this transformation will not happen without support. In order to thrive and succeed, for-profit enterprises are going to need a new and cohesive supportive ecosystem that adapts to their unique characteristics and helps them scale without making compromises that dilute their original values and impact objectives. This is what we call the Fourth Sector, a new economic space at the intersection of the three traditional sectors (public, private and non-profit).

The Project

The creation of the Fourth Sector is a long-term, global endeavour that will comprise a number of tasks –from transforming the business culture to finding new financial tools and reporting standards. As one of the academic partners of the initiative, the Center for the Governance of Change supports this process by producing case studies, academic papers, surveys and articles on the Fourth Sector, its current state, and its potential contributions to the 2030 Agenda, as well as exploring ways to overcome the main regulatory, financial and cultural barriers that currently constrain its growth.


Diego Rubio

IE University

Heerad Sabeti

World Economic Forum

Alejandro Pacheco

United Nations Development Program

Rachida Justo

IE Business School

Sebastián Gatica

Universidad Católica de Chile

Javier Solana

Glasgow University

Sandro Cabral


Paula Miranda

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

César Sánchez Álvarez

Universidad de La Salle

Diana Gutiérrez

Universidad de La Sabana

Carlos Azevedo


Ricardo Zózimo


Mildred Berrelleza

Tecnologico de Monterrey

In partnership with: