Fifty years ago, Milton Friedman published his seminal essay that continues to serve as an underpinning of how the world does business today. The concept of shareholder primacy, that a business’s only role is to create the best possible financial returns for shareholders, directors and investors, has led to such a narrow focus of business directors and investors that all other stakeholders — workers, communities, the environment — who are impacted by a business’s operations are not considered. This system design flaw has created a multitude of social and environmental issues around the globe, but there are potential fixes currently gaining traction that could serve as a better way forward. Together, in a collaboration between SOCAP and B Lab, we’ll take a look at how we got here, define key terms, and look at stakeholder capitalism in action with this panel of experts and practitioners.
Brett Hurt, CEO and co-founder, data.world
Holly Ensign-Barstow, Director of Stakeholder Governance and Policy, B Lab US & Canada
Paul Kabotie, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hopi Foundation
Samuel C. Johnson Professor in Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University
Christopher Marquis (moderator)