Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Benevolent Capitalism Really?
Benevolent capitalism, in our view, is a form of capitalism that is driven by businesses which not only think about the short-term financial benefits but also about building longer-term sustainable businesses that create economic, environmental and social value, that have a positive impact on society and the planet.
It is about seeing the kindest way, the least damage way to create something greater in the world that can create more possibilities so that we can have some kind of sustainable future.
Functioning from benevolent capitalism is
where you function from creating more in the world for everybody, not just YOU.
Benevolent means that you shall do as little harm as possible. You don't do anything to get a specific result you do it to create a greater possibility. If you are truly benevolent you will look at what is going to create more not what is going to create less; and capitalism, of course, being what you do to create money and create different possibilities.
It is a new way of thinking about capitalism that is not prone to creating damage and a series of crises. When benevolence guides business principles, vision, and practices, the result can be exceedingly affirmative.
Benevolent Capitalism is meant to create an entirely new system for businesses whose approach and strategy rests upon the following:
- Functioning from generating a sustainable future,
- Doing NO damage,
- Maximizing the possibilities instead of just maximizing revenue,
- Empowerment and conscious benevolent leadership.
Benevolent corporations shift from capitalism based on “I have to get my share” and using and abusing to get what they want; to instead embracing a benevolent way of being, which looks at the different futures that can be created. Benevolent is not about doing kindness to others, it’s about doing no damage and creating a sustainable future for our society.
A Brief History of Doing Well by Doing Good by Harvard Business Review
Nancy Koehn is a noted historian and the premier authority for providing analysis on the social and economic impact of entrepreneurship and on leadership in turbulent times.
2. How is ‘Benevolent Capitalism’ different from Conscious Capitalism and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)?
Benevolent Capitalism is not about philanthropy or simply a matter of good corporate citizenship. The precept of Benevolent Capitalism goes beyond being “ethical” or social and moral responsibilities. The benevolent way of doing business goes beyond the ideas of seeking to do well by doing good or creating value for all their stakeholders, or philanthropic thinking.
From our perspective, what differentiates Benevolent Capitalism from Conscious Capitalism and CSR is a strong foundation and a generative strategy for creating and generating a sustainable future that brings about radical breakthroughs and essential change for the benefit of planet and humanity. It is a look at how capitalism can operate business in a way that causes no damage to the planet, society, living creatures and what it would take to enrich the environment instead of depleting it.
Corporate social responsibility tends to emphasize the benefit to social groups outside business. It is the idea that you have to make up for the damage done so that you cause the least amount of damage for the maximization of profit. Many corporations still consider business’s social responsibility to be a process of making donations to charitable organizations and to support outside causes rather than on the actions, conducts and activities of business itself. CSR is often implanted on existing business models which are shareholder-centric and profit driven. Many profit-driven businesses invest in CSR initiatives to compensate for some of the harm they may be causing some stakeholders as a result of their core business, or as a way of earning goodwill that is disconnected from that core business.
Conscious Capitalism is similar to Benevolent Capitalism in that it is challenging the way business is currently being conducted. They both have the perspective that involves the shift to greater levels of consciousness. They are also very different to one another. Conscious Capitalism is more a philosophy of doing business that suggests that business has a higher purpose beyond profits and that creating value for all stakeholders is the best way to create value for investors. This, however, isn’t a business tactic or strategy. Conscious Capitalism is doing amazing work challenging business leaders to rethink why their organizations exist, and to acknowledge their roles in the interdependent global marketplace. According to the Whole Food Market CEO who wrote the book on conscious capitalism - “Conscious Capitalism emphasizes the importance of all of a company's interdependent "stakeholders": employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, community, and the environment. Businesses that are more conscious of making a positive difference in the world make the world a better place from just being there."