Monday, August 31, 2009

Creative Capitalism compiled by Michael Kinsley

Bill Gates put forth 'Creative Capitalism' as the way profitable businesses can offer solutions to help make life better for the poorest on earth where philanthrophy, governments and charitable organisations can be limited. He proposed that businesses continue to do what they are good at doing and use about 10% of their time and talent in creation and innovation to produce solutions to help the poor who will never be able to afford their products. What follows are chapter by chapter debates from worthy advocates and adversaries or at times, bi-positional proponents. I like the intensity, directness and diplomacy of the debate.

One thought summary: I always believe that there is a bigger reason for getting up in the morning in the same way that there is a bigger reason for business beyond generating good money. Therefore, I tend to lean towards Gates' position that businesses are important players in society and the world to improve the living conditions of the underprivileged or 'the needy and the poor of the earth' [Isaiah 11:4]. I also find the longterm intangible benefits of engaging in such social causes valid to the business and these can range from attracting new investments or good calibre employees, to garnering the goodwill of governments and people groups.

Where you can get it: Kinokuniya S$47.03; National Library
Level of impact: Intense and urgent
Timing of book: Good timing