I’ve featured Prof. Sandel, of Harvard, on this site before. His political philosophy involves powerful use of classic theories applied to modern issues in ways that compel deep thought about how we approach and react to different policy in our modern world. I love the effort given to truly contemplating the existential implications of some real world data and how it frames or ought to frame political debates.
Sandel’s talk is not a direct critique of my previously featured talk from Michael Porter on the potential for businesses to tackle social problems (an idea I believe in myself), but a philosophical compliment to balance the hope of that notion with the political reality of allowing theories of “the market” to dictate too much.
In the past three decades, says Michael Sandel, the US has drifted from a market economy to a market society; it’s fair to say that an American’s experience of shared civic life depends on how much money they have. (Three key examples: access to education, access to justice, political influence.) In a talk and audience discussion, Sandel asks us to think honestly on this question: In our current democracy, is too much for sale?
Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard, exploring some of the most hotly contested moral and political issues of our time.
This video is part one of 2 TED Talks I want to feature on the role of business and market theories in solving social problems, in light of the recent success of some local company dear to my heart (/shameless self promotion).
After working in both the non-profit and private sector, I’ve become a firm believer in the potential for corporations and for-profit businesses with good people to make a positive impact in the world. In the environmental and liberal communities especially, too often the business community as a whole is denigrated for past mistakes or modern bad apples. But the potential impact of a successful, mission-driven company is enormous and the value it brings to scalability and the impact it can have in terms of local jobs and profit should not be ignored.
Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society’s biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he’s biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit — which lets that solution grow.
Michael E. Porter wrote the books on modern competitive strategy for business. Now he is thinking deeply about the intersection between society and corporate interests.
It’s certainly a provocative take, but there is always benefits to be drawn from confronting principled opposing viewpoints. This is especially true when looking to determine the best ways to understand, draw up, found, and maintain political structures of society.
It’s a standard assumption in the West: As a society progresses, it eventually becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy. Right? Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and political scientist, begs to differ. In this provocative, boundary-pushing talk, he asks his audience to consider that there’s more than one way to run a successful modern nation.
A venture capitalist and political scientist, Eric X Li argues that the universality claim of Western democratic systems is going to be “morally challenged” by China.
I’ve featured Mr. Ariely here before. I’ve really been interested in his work on behavioral economics, and how much we misunderstand with simple economics 101.
What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. (Filmed at TEDxRiodelaPlata.)
It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely tells us why.