I watched Michael Porter on a TED talk recently and was interested in his views.
Michael is a Harvard professor specialising in Business Strategy, and had been considering how we can get better at solving some of our social and environmental problems in the world. He concluded that we are not making fast enough progress via the route of establishing non-profits to solve the problems as there is an issue around scaling due to lack of resources. As he says, there is not enough tax revenue to feed government funding and not enough donations to fundamentally resolve the resources problems that non-profits have.
So how do we change this situation? Businesses are the potential change agents to solve some of our social problems. Sometimes our perception is that businesses cause the problems as they seek more profit, and that businesses will be more effective and make more profit by ignoring the social and environmental effects of their work. The reality is the opposite. A business profits from solving social problems, e.g. by looking after employee health.
So what do we need to do? Let’s work together to encourage a change in how a business sees itself by encouraging shared values in business, and collaborating with them as non-profits towards changing the world and solving the big social and environmental problems we face today.
You can see the complete TED talk by clicking on the link below: