Reimagining Capitalism: How Business Can Save the World, by Rebecca Henderson, reviewed


Review of Reimagining Capitalism: How Business Can Save the World, by Rebecca Henderson,  available here Penguin Business, Penguin Random House (UK), shortlisted for the 2020 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Free market capitalism is one of humanity’s greatest inventions and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. At the same time, its single-minded pursuit of profit has led to rampant inequality and the looming threat of climate catastrophe – and now threatens to destroy the society on which it depends.

Rebecca Henderson, John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University, argues that business can simultaneously make a positive impact on the world by confronting the realities of our environmental crisis and the need to address social and economic inequality, while also delivering the sustained economic growth that brings prosperity and wellbeing to society as a whole.

Reimagining Capitalism: How Business Can Save the World, by Rebecca Henderson, reviewed

Of the FT business books of the year this is the third one we have reviewed, and it is, so far, the best one, and probably the most important. If we don’t reassess and change rapidly how we do business then we will quickly end up with a few very rich people and corporations and a dead planet.

The choice is now as stark as that. Sure you can be a climate change denier, you can be a populist supporting voter, a company share holder looking to maximise your own short term returns. None of this though will enable you to leave the planet in a better place than you found it, nor enable your children and grandchildren to live in a healthy and functioning earth.

Vested interests, often backed by a few very rich people, Koch brothers are a good example, have lobbied hard to deny the impacts of C02 emissions, global warming, and climate change in general. It is clear to see which politicians who have taken money to hold back and restrict environmental standards, aimed at actually keeping our planet healthy and full of biodiversity. Henderson clearly articulates her own journey and the ground breaking conversations with CEOs and leaders of business. Her key idea was, do you have children, are we going to leave it to politicians to resolve these serious issues that we are facing?

If, like her, you have been underwhelmed by the political response to these challenges, then you will completely understand why she chose the path that she did, and how it might actually save us from ourselves too. Here in Ireland not so long ago the Irish Government declared themselves to be ready to make a different to the planet. This got them good PR and a warm fuzzy feel.

When they then sent out press releases extolling this and you followed up with the senders and asked for more details, the first response was that the particular department who had issued it was unable to answer those specifics. Naturally this pretty much summed up how much of a lazy and trivial declaration it ws that they had made.

Henderson thankfully drills into examples of specific companies who have actually taken these challenges seriously and made real and serious, positive differences to their environmental impact, and measurable criteria by which they can be assessed. This book is part of a growing trend looking to dig into the details of what can be done, what needs to be done, and the beginnings of a road map to try and avoid our own self inflicted road to extinction. A book that is well worth reading and then sharing with many more asap.

More about the book here

Drawing on lessons from companies from around the world who are already making a positive difference, Reimaging Capitalism shows that this new approach is not only a moral imperative but also an extraordinary opportunity to drive growth and innovation in an increasingly competitive world.

And, perhaps most critically, she suggests that it has the potential to balance the power of the market with the power of democratic, accountable government and strong civil society – the only long term solution to the problems that we face.

More about Irish Tech News and Business Showcase here.

FYI the ROI for you is => Irish Tech News now gets over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!

Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 50,000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.

Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles.

If you would like to be featured in our podcast series drop us a line & don’t forget to sign up for notifications for our latest episodes and follow us on Twitter, Linkedin, SoundCloud, iTunes or your own favourite podcast platform.

Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you and hopefully, we can share your story too and reach our global audience. We are agile, responsive, quick and talented, we look forward to working with you!

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking