Capitalism at the Crossroads: An Interview with Stuart Hart
Monday, March 14, 2016
Stuart Hart is one of the world’s top authorities on the implications of sustainable development and environment for business strategy. He is currently the Grossman Chair of Sustainable Business at the University of Vermont. Previously, Hart founded sustainable MBA programs at Cornell, UNC, and the University of Michigan. He wrote the seminal article “Beyond Greening: Strategies for a Sustainable World,” which won the McKinsey Award for Best Article in Harvard Business Review in 1997, and helped launch the movement for corporate sustainability.
With C.K. Prahalad, Hart also wrote the path-breaking 2002 article “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” which provided the first articulation of how business could profitable serve the needs of four billion poor in the developing world. He is the author of the business bestseller “Capitalism at the Crossroads: Next Generation Business Strategies for a Post-Crisis World” now in its third edition.
As someone who helped launch the sustainability movement in the business world, what do you see happening today? Is Capitalism still at the crossroads?
Businesses are learning that they do not need to accept trade-offs when it comes to societal and economic performance. You must meet both criteria. The future demand it, your customers demand it, and your conscience demands it.
In my book, Capitalism at the Crossroads, I presented new strategies for identifying sustainable products, technologies, and business models that will drive urgently needed growth and help solve social and environmental problems at the same time. I also argue that corporations are the only entities in the world today with the technology, resources, capacity, and global reach required.