Excessive wealth is so last generation:
Are we witnessing a cultural shift from celebrating people for how much excessive wealth they have accumulated to celebrating people for how they contribute to the common good? I would like to think that the answer is yes. I have been discussing this lately with friends, family, co-workers, Uber drivers etc, and I get mixed reactions. Is greed and selfishness too embedded in our nature for this to become a reality? What if our human need for acceptance, recognition and love outweighs our greed for material possessions? What if at the same time, the criteria used by the public to measure a person’s appeal is shifting to their contribution to helping fight climate change, human trafficking, animal atrocities, and social injustice?
Consumers and Employees will Demand Change:
Yesterday I saw headlines that Jeff Bezos has committed $10B to help fight climate change. At first I thought it was fake news and then as I read the articles, it appears that he responded to pressure from thousands of Amazon employees to do more. $10B is a nice chunk of change that can make a serious impact. His decision is admirable regardless of the motivations behind it. It is a sign that times are changing. People are demanding action, taking it upon themselves to do more, and are actually forcing a change for the better.
The Rise of Philanthrocapitalism:
Will companies start to take matters into their own hands where our governments are failing us? Is the voice of a 17 year old Swedish girl reaching the C Suites around the world more effectively than parliaments and the halls of justice? It seems to me that the answer is yes and that the concept of philanthrocapitalism is going to accelerate, particularly as it becomes apparent that it is the way to win over consumer loyalty and therefore profits.
Reward Good Behavior:
The next step is for governments to recognize and reward companies that adopt this mentality and that lead by example through action. Investors have to recognize that higher valuations in the future will depend on a company’s commitment to the common good, and we will see money pouring into these organizations helping them to fuel their efforts and to attract the top talent and brightest minds to focus on what really matters. The future is starting to look brighter.