As British parliamentarian Andrew Bennett famously observed, “The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.” Bennet’s lament has become a rallying call for all those who subscribe to the tenets of conscious capitalism. To address the challenges that our future generations will face, we must all take the 18-inch journey from our heads to our hearts and support businesses that not only generates profits, but also make a positive impact to society as a whole.
Conscious Capitalism, according to John Mackey and Raj Sisodia ’s book, “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business”, is “an evolving paradigm for business that simultaneously creates multiple kinds of value and well-being for all stakeholders: financial, intellectual, physical, ecological, social, cultural, emotional, ethical and even spiritual. This new operating system for business is in far greater harmony with the ethos of our times and the essence of our evolving beings.”
It is time we, as investors, support businesses that consciously address social and environmental issues, while at the same time generating dividends and share price value for shareholders. When companies work with a higher purpose, we all flourish –employees, suppliers, investors and the community at large.
More and more institutions, foundations and individuals are embracing the concept of conscious capitalism. Much of that has to the support of Millennials. Young people, whose bank accounts are relatively small compared to older Gen Xers and Boomers, do not have much a powerful direct influence on the global investment and business sectors. But by making a moral argument about the future of the planet and social inequities, Millennials do have an important indirect influence. They are demanding that the business world and the financial markets pay greater attention to the triple bottom.
We will all feel that we are living in better times when conscious capitalism becomes the new normal.