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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meet John Mackey, CEO, co-founder, FLOW

Our show, with the help of Calvert Funds, has pushed hard to get all investors to use sustainable investing funds and standards.  Those shows continue to garner tremendous interest worldwide.  If you would like to hear one, listen at renewablenow.biz.

In the meantime we'd like to expand this discussion by carrying a piece of a wonderful article written by John Mackey.  Here's a link to his entire article and a part of his excellent piece.  We'll reach out to John and push to get him on a future show.

As we've said many times, business is either part of the problem or part of the solution.  You can not push business out of the environmental equation, as some purist advocate, but engage every singe company owner--small, medium, large--into this wonderful movement towards a brighter, cleaner future, driven partially by a new-style green economy:  http://www.wholeplanetfoundation.org/files/uploaded/John_Mackey-Conscious_Capitalism.pdf

Conscious Capitalism
Creating a New Paradigm for Business
by John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Market
co-founder, FLOW

"Do we need a new way to think about business, corporations,
and capitalism for the 21st century? Do we need
to create a new business paradigm? Corporations are
probably the most influential institutions in the world
today and yet many people do not believe that they
can be trusted. Instead corporations are widely perceived
as greedy, selfish, exploitative, uncaring – and
interested only in maximizing profits. In the early years
of the 21st century, major ethical lapses on the part of
big business came to light including scandals at Enron,
Arthur Anderson, Tyco, the New York Stock Exchange,
WorldCom, Mutual Funds, and AIG. These scandals
have all contributed to a growing distrust of business
and further eroded public trust in large corporations in
the United States.

Increasingly, many people believe there must be
something wrong with both corporations and capitalism.
The anti-globalization movement is primarily an
anti-corporation movement. Many people have come
to the conclusion that corporations want to dominate
and control the world – for example David Korten wrote
an interesting book called When Corporations Rule the
World. While many critics, including myself, take issue
with Korten’s assertions, the book reflects this relatively
common belief that corporations are slowly, steadily
taking over the world. Along this line of reasoning it follows
that this corporate hegemony is not a good thing
since corporations are greedy, selfish, and uncaring,
along this line of reasoning it follows that this corporate
hegemony is not a good thing for the world. In short,
corporations and capitalism are not generally in favor,
and both have serious branding problems.

Our first theories of economics were developed during
the Industrial Revolution. Prior to that, economics
did not exist as a discipline. Economics was created as
one explanatory response to the Industrial Revolution
and initial economic models were based on industrial
models of the economy. Although economic theory has
evolved since Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations
in 1776, many economists continue using industrial and
machine metaphors to explain how the economy works.
Now that we are well into the post-industrial Information
Age, these metaphors have become outdated and
mislead our thinking about business. For example, recall
the trinity of labor, land, and capital as “factors of production”,
and therefore as merely a means to the end of
efficiency and profits. According to this model, business
operates like a machine—business owners input various
amounts of capital, labor, and land at the start. Profits
then spit out on the other side of the metaphorical 
machine."


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