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  • Quinton Lister

How Business Can Save the World

I find myself being inspired by Clayton Christensen lately, but more on that later. Today I want to write about why I think that “sustainable business” movement or “benefit corporation” movement is so powerful.

I grew up in a household where all sides of the political spectrum were explored and shared. My parents were staunch republicans and raised us as republicans. When my older siblings went off to college, each of them came back democrats (or some party that was not republican). All of sudden ideas like feminism, civil rights, and socialism/communism were introduced to our family dinner table discussions. I must admit that I was swayed significantly by my older siblings and wanted to support them in the ideas that they were bringing back home (most of which I agree with a few key differences). I found; however, that when I went to college that I was persuaded more towards the ideology that my parents used when we were growing up. I am not a republican, and I find myself more right of center than left of center.

One thing that really got me was the simplicity and practicality of Adam Smith’s description of economics. I think that his intuition and insight are work of brilliance that shaped the world in a powerful way. That being said, I strongly feel that his ideas are dangerous when they are misconstrued or used as justification for deceptive or abusive business practices. This week I listened to two “experts” (Clayton Christensen and John Montgomery) who shared their thoughts on business and how it can be used as a force for good. I think that as the concepts that they expound on are taken in combination with each other it will go to show why supporting “purpose driven business” and triple bottom line principles are so important. As we support this movement we are actually giving freedom back to the business owner to act as they choose and not to be governed solely by the interests of the shareholders. Take a look and see what you think!

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