The excesses of capitalism left unchecked are catching up with us, in the form of huge inequality, environmental disaster, and institutional collapse. Can business, which has until now been part of the problem, become part of the solution?
What we urgently need, argues economics professor Rebecca Henderson, are businesses with a purpose beyond profit, that can create sustainable shared value for people and the planet. Ethical and economic arguments, she tells us, align more often than we might think, so businesses acting as agents of the change we desperately need is not only plausible, but absolutely necessary. Henderson makes a compelling case for the power and duty of socially and environmentally responsible business to transform capitalism, and shares her vision for a system where good business means doing what is right.
Rebecca Henderson is the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University and teaches the Reimagining Capitalism course at Harvard Business School. She is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and is a member of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Henderson is an advisor to some of the world's leading companies and a board member of Amgen and IDEXX Laboratories. The Financial Times recently named her a 'director of the year.'
Matthew Taylor is the Chief Executive of the RSA.