Conscious Capitalism

Two things wake me up on a workday morning: a good cup of coffee and MSNBC’s Morning Joe news program. Today was no exception. I had never heard the term “conscious capitalism” before this morning’s show. The hosts interviewed Whole Foods Market’s co-CEO John Mackey, who was there to promote a book he co-authored: Conscious Capitalism. The segment piqued my interest.

What is conscious capitalism? Simply put, it means that corporations must have a higher purpose than just making money. Corporations that have embraced conscious capitalism pursue more transcendent goals like responsibility to the community and the environment and employee and customer satisfaction. Conscious capitalism includes developing relationships with vendors that follow sustainable practices and severing ties with those that do not. A good example is that of a food chain that refuses to transact business with a company that sells seafood sourced from over fished waterways. Or how about banks that lend collateral-free funds to poor women so they can start their own businesses and achieve financial independence?

I will think of these companies the next time I hear a news report about record corporate profits and obscene bonus payouts. To paraphrase a line from the 1980s movie Wall Street: How many yachts can a CEO water ski behind? Must it always have to be about the money?

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3 Responses to Conscious Capitalism

  1. I never heard of this before. I like it. There are many good companies out there, and we need many more like them.

  2. Jess Marsico says:

    When I first saw that term on the ESC blogroll, I thought more about the consumerism side of it in two aspects: first, we need to be conscious by researching which companies we do not support, finding concrete evidence for that; and secondly, that as conscious consumers we contribute to conscious capitalism. That second part means a lot more than consumption: it means changing our frame of mind about value, usefulness, need, and desire. There are so many wonderful ecycle communities out there; I just love my local one. People give with no expectation of reciprocity, and the items must actually be as described; conversely, people take with no expectation reciprocity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to avoid being an unnecessary consumer AND unnecessary waster thanks to that group! I’ve given kid snow boots, bags of kid clothes and toys, movies, video games, books, and furniture. I’ve also gotten incredible hand-me-downs and connected with like-minded folks living in my area.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I agree wholeheartedly, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. We as a culture need to exercise social responsibility and consider the value in consuming only what we need. Living simply is imperative if we are to leave enough natural resources behind for future generations.

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