Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems

Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems


I think we’re all aware that the world today is full of problems. We’ve been hearing them today and yesterday and every day for decades. Serious problems, big problems, pressing problems. Poor nutrition, access to water, climate change, deforestation, lack of skills, insecurity, not enough food, not enough healthcare, pollution. There’s problem after problem, and I think what really separates this time from any time I can remember in my brief time on Earth is the awareness of these problems. We’re all very aware. Why are we having so much trouble dealing with these problems? That’s the question I’ve been struggling with, coming from my very different perspective. I’m not a social problem guy. I’m a guy that works with business, helps business make money. God forbid. So why are we having so many problems with these social problems, and really is there any role for business, and if so, what is that role? I think that in order to address that question, we have to step back and think about how we’ve understood and pondered both the problems and the solutions to these great social challenges that we face. Now, I think many have seen business as the problem, or at least one of the problems, in many of the social challenges we face. You know, think of the fast food industry, the drug industry, the banking industry. You know, this is a low point in the respect for business. Business is not seen as the solution. It’s seen as the problem now, for most people. And rightly so, in many cases. There’s a lot of bad actors out there that have done the wrong thing, that actually have made the problem worse. So this perspective is perhaps justified. How have we tended to see the solutions to these social problems, these many issues that we face in society? Well, we’ve tended to see the solutions in terms of NGOs, in terms of government, in terms of philanthropy. Indeed, the kind of unique organizational entity of this age is this tremendous rise of NGOs and social organizations. This is a unique, new organizational form that we’ve seen grown up. Enormous innovation, enormous energy, enormous talent now has been mobilized through this structure to try to deal with all of these challenges. And many of us here are deeply involved in that. I’m a business school professor, but I’ve actually founded, I think, now, four nonprofits. Whenever I got interested and became aware of a societal problem, that was what I did, form a nonprofit. That was the way we’ve thought about how to deal with these issues. Even a business school professor has thought about it that way. But I think at this moment, we’ve been at this for quite a while. We’ve been aware of these problems for decades. We have decades of experience with our NGOs and with our government entities, and there’s an awkward reality. The awkward reality is we’re not making fast enough progress. We’re not winning. These problems still seem very daunting and very intractable, and any solutions we’re achieving are small solutions. We’re making incremental progress. What’s the fundamental problem we have in dealing with these social problems? If we cut all the complexity away, we have the problem of scale. We can’t scale. We can make progress. We can show benefits. We can show results. We can make things better. We’re helping. We’re doing better. We’re doing good. We can’t scale. We can’t make a large-scale impact on these problems. Why is that? Because we don’t have the resources. And that’s really clear now. And that’s clearer now than it’s been for decades. There’s simply not enough money to deal with any of these problems at scale using the current model. There’s not enough tax revenue, there’s not enough philanthropic donations, to deal with these problems the way we’re dealing with them now. We’ve got to confront that reality. And the scarcity of resources for dealing with these problems is only growing, certainly in the advanced world today, with all the fiscal problems we face. So if it’s fundamentally a resource problem, where are the resources in society? How are those resources really created, the resources we’re going to need to deal with all these societal challenges? Well there, I think the answer is very clear: They’re in business. All wealth is actually created by business. Business creates wealth when it meets needs at a profit. That’s how all wealth is created. It’s meeting needs at a profit that leads to taxes and that leads to incomes and that leads to charitable donations. That’s where all the resources come from. Only business can actually create resources. Other institutions can utilize them to do important work, but only business can create them. And business creates them when it’s able to meet a need at a profit. The resources are overwhelmingly generated by business. The question then is, how do we tap into this? How do we tap into this? Business generates those resources when it makes a profit. That profit is that small difference between the price and the cost it takes to produce whatever solution business has created to whatever problem they’re trying to solve. But that profit is the magic. Why? Because that profit allows whatever solution we’ve created to be infinitely scalable. Because if we can make a profit, we can do it for 10, 100, a million, 100 million, a billion. The solution becomes self-sustaining. That’s what business does when it makes a profit. Now what does this all have to do with social problems? Well, one line of thinking is, let’s take this profit and redeploy it into social problems. Business should give more. Business should be more responsible. And that’s been the path that we’ve been on in business. But again, this path that we’ve been on is not getting us where we need to go. Now, I started out as a strategy professor, and I’m still a strategy professor. I’m proud of that. But I’ve also, over the years, worked more and more on social issues. I’ve worked on healthcare, the environment, economic development, reducing poverty, and as I worked more and more in the social field, I started seeing something that had a profound impact on me and my whole life, in a way. The conventional wisdom in economics and the view in business has historically been that actually, there’s a tradeoff between social performance and economic performance. The conventional wisdom has been that business actually makes a profit by causing a social problem. The classic example is pollution. If business pollutes, it makes more money than if it tried to reduce that pollution. Reducing pollution is expensive, therefore businesses don’t want to do it. It’s profitable to have an unsafe working environment. It’s too expensive to have a safe working environment, therefore business makes more money if they don’t have a safe working environment. That’s been the conventional wisdom. A lot of companies have fallen into that conventional wisdom. They resisted environmental improvement. They resisted workplace improvement. That thinking has led to, I think, much of the behavior that we have come to criticize in business, that I come to criticize in business. But the more deeply I got into all these social issues, one after another, and actually, the more I tried to address them myself, personally, in a few cases, through nonprofits that I was involved with, the more I found actually that the reality is the opposite. Business does not profit from causing social problems, actually not in any fundamental sense. That’s a very simplistic view. The deeper we get into these issues, the more we start to understand that actually business profits from solving from social problems. That’s where the real profit comes. Let’s take pollution. We’ve learned today that actually reducing pollution and emissions is generating profit. It saves money. It makes the business more productive and efficient. It doesn’t waste resources. Having a safer working environment actually, and avoiding accidents, it makes the business more profitable, because it’s a sign of good processes. Accidents are expensive and costly. Issue by issue by issue, we start to learn that actually there’s no trade-off between social progress and economic efficiency in any fundamental sense. Another issue is health. I mean, what we’ve found is actually health of employees is something that business should treasure, because that health allows those employees to be more productive and come to work and not be absent. The deeper work, the new work, the new thinking on the interface between business and social problems is actually showing that there’s a fundamental, deep synergy, particularly if you’re not thinking in the very short run. In the very short run, you can sometimes fool yourself into thinking that there’s fundamentally opposing goals, but in the long run, ultimately, we’re learning in field after field that this is simply not true. So how could we tap into the power of business to address the fundamental problems that we face? Imagine if we could do that, because if we could do it, we could scale. We could tap into this enormous resource pool and this organizational capacity. And guess what? That’s happening now, finally, partly because of people like you who have raised these issues now for year after year and decade after decade. We see organizations like Dow Chemical leading the revolution away from trans fat and saturated fat with innovative new products. This is an example of Jain Irrigation. This is a company that’s brought drip irrigation technology to thousands and millions of farmers, reducing substantially the use of water. We see companies like the Brazilian forestry company Fibria that’s figured out how to avoid tearing down old growth forest and using eucalyptus and getting much more yield per hectare of pulp and making much more paper than you could make by cutting down those old trees. You see companies like Cisco that are training so far four million people in I.T. skills to actually, yes, be responsible, but help expand the opportunity to disseminate I.T. technology and grow the whole business. There’s a fundamental opportunity for business today to impact and address these social problems, and this opportunity is the largest business opportunity we see in business. And the question is, how can we get business thinking to adapt this issue of shared value? This is what I call shared value: addressing a social issue with a business model. That’s shared value. Shared value is capitalism, but it’s a higher kind of capitalism. It’s capitalism as it was ultimately meant to be, meeting important needs, not incrementally competing for trivial differences in product attributes and market share. Shared value is when we can create social value and economic value simultaneously. It’s finding those opportunities that will unleash the greatest possibility we have to actually address these social problems because we can scale. We can address shared value at multiple levels. It’s real. It’s happening. But in order to get this solution working, we have to now change how business sees itself, and this is thankfully underway. Businesses got trapped into the conventional wisdom that they shouldn’t worry about social problems, that this was sort of something on the side, that somebody else was doing it. We’re now seeing companies embrace this idea. But we also have to recognize business is not going to do this as effectively as if we have NGOs and government working in partnership with business. The new NGOs that are really moving the needle are the ones that have found these partnerships, that have found these ways to collaborate. The governments that are making the most progress are the governments that have found ways to enable shared value in business rather than see government as the only player that has to call the shots. And government has many ways in which it could impact the willingness and the ability of companies to compete in this way. I think if we can get business seeing itself differently, and if we can get others seeing business differently, we can change the world. I know it. I’m seeing it. I’m feeling it. Young people, I think, my Harvard Business School students, are getting it. If we can break down this sort of divide, this unease, this tension, this sense that we’re not fundamentally collaborating here in driving these social problems, we can break this down, and we finally, I think, can have solutions. Thank you. (Applause)

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Private profit is opposed to the general interests of society. That private capital may 'solve' a 'problem' is possible, but the cost to society is private capital accumulation which is then used against the interests of workers and the masses generally. Anything a private business can do, the people working together democratically, collectively, committed to achieving a goal or performing a valuable function, can do better – and without generating a private capital power that opposes them.

  2. There is one wrong assumption in your thinking Mr. Porter, the resources are not only within business. The resources are people and natural resources. The business is just using them for its profit, regardless of the actual social needs. The profit is the biggest problem that we as humans have with the business…Until we do not stop creating so called profit we will be heading into the self-destruction of this civilization and the planet.

  3. No. Problem is CEOs and high level management not taking a pay cut or donating freely (reinvesting) back into the workers. On the account of higher work hard for it, they deserve it (because degree, experience, x, etc) and blah, blah, blah while forcing the individual (worker) to pay what little money they can spare to go to these business solutions for their social problem. Then watching from afar, the rich, with excessive wealth (just like diabetes) decry prejudice against them while social unrest unfolds in front of them as they reactively deal with it.

  4. government creates wealth too.  like it did decades of R+D into the internet, computers, flight, medecine, containerization and it usually hands it over for free to business when it becomes profitable. its so pronounced, noam chomsky calls it state capitalism.

     you dont want things always to be profitable anyways.  i wouldnt want my military to be profitable, or a profitable private prison industry, or a private profitable health care system

  5. u dont need profits to be self sustaining.  for example government libraries are for free and they have existed for 100s of years.  i can walk into a library and i pay nothing to take out a book.  it is paid for in taxes, most of which the rich pay. but hte libraries are not profiting in their day to day operations, they are self sustaining because of money not profits

  6. u dont need money to deal with problems of scale.  look at civil rights, womens rights, workers rights, the ending of slavery and feudalism in parts of the world, etc.    ppl just evolved their consciousness and protested and resisted the system.  and they won overtime

  7. In theory business could solve a tiny fraction of it yes. In practice it creates monster of social problems.

    Making huge amounts of money has some inevitable: U make everybody ur enemy. U have to screw them to get ur profit.

    Fuck u mike, stay buried in ur private paradise hole, with ur preeeeecious coins.

  8. I've just ran through some comments below and I just "love" how most of people are fixed in stereotype that business can only "fuck" with everyone and there is no social business and no social value of business.
    I think profit can really make solutions for world problems more sustainable but only with right mindset. You shouldn't be closed-minded like that guys.

  9. I like this guy, he says things the way they are, not the way general public wants to hear it. I Also like the way he says the word profit 47 times the whole video… I know, I counted.

  10. What a bunch of silly rhetoric. It's so profitable to cure social ills that we are absolutely swamped in social ills. This guy is like Winston at the very end of 1984

  11. "Private enterprise is for anything where the risks have been pre-assessed by the government investment in the frontier. " Neil Degrasse Tyson

  12. Michael Porter is right about saying that businesses make money by solving social problems. But I think he is disingenuous when he claims that it is profit motive in itself will motivate companies to reduce pollution or spend on create safer working environment. It is up to society to put hard constraints on businesses w.r.t to pollution , safety & employee health based on the values the society holds dear. Only then businesses can optimize operations around it.  

    Till now business thinkers & economists thought of ethics & social values as outside their domain. Profit motive was the be-all and end-all of what should be done or not done. Businesses & Markets are institutions exist as embedded institutions within a society and therefore what they can do and not do is also constrained by the values of the society; these values are collectively expressed by the society in the form of regulations. 

  13. I watched this hoping to find valid points. Porter says it's individual businesses that are a problem, but it's rather business in itself. Porter says it's a resource problem, in the current model, and so it is. However, the best option available then is to change the model, not to keep pressing the current model. We won't solve big social problems with markets because it is markets dominance that creates the problems. It's profitable in some ways to save the environment, but in most ways it isn't. If we monetize the environment, for example, we give business the option of a cost-benefit analysis in order to pay to circumvent environmental concerns. It works the same way for social problems. Capitalism, at the heart of it, brings injustice. The way we term profitable is how much money is created for shareholders of that business. Distributing the wealth more evenly throughout the company, such as raising wages, is a cost in that line of thinking. The wealth created is unfairly distributed, unrelated to actual work contribution. 

    It's a limit of the market domain, a change of the current model, that is needed to ever begin solving things like poverty, inequality and such. 

    I don't feel like I could find many valid points in Porter's arguments. I leave happier though reading all the comments who speak up against him. I find that usually in similar videos it's the other way around 🙂

  14. It is a fantastic presentation and I salute this guy who has really analysed the Enterprise Strategy in detail and came up with lot of models like 5 forces, Generic strategies and lot many. For this guy to make a point about Business solving Social problems – he is trying to break a huge barrier locked up in people's mind, I believe. How easy is for us to point a finger at Government to take care of the social issues, while we elect the government and at the backside, create all the social issues for the Government to worry… It is this disconnect that Michael Porter is trying to project through his lectures.

    I agree, Business can support the Government and if they can work in tandem to solve social issues, the results would be for every one to see…

  15. Borrowing from Gordon Gecko, "Greed is good" this guy advocates for using the single-minded, hedonistic pursuit of profit to guide business to solve problems largely created by business.

    On the other hand look at what Michael Sandel says about putting a price/value on everything taints society.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_sandel_why_we_shouldn_t_trust_markets_with_our_civic_life

  16. Sorry but i think he is so wrong…"only business can generate revenues" ? What ??? In the financial crisis governments bailed out the banks creating revenues that saved them by simply printing out cash. Why arent they bailing out the future of our planet ???

  17. This guy and his outdated theories that only promote greedy bastards increasing their wealth can shut it! This is just the kind of bad capitalism that causes social inequalities in the first place. Private revenues doesn't always convert to a social benefit. For the simple reason that the only incentive for business is profit. We need the intervention of governments who are benevolent and just to solve social issues; and yes they could do that by regulating businesses. but certainly not leaving them to their own devices.

  18. Business has never been the problem. It's been the profit itself. In reality, only fractions of business profits are used to face social problems. But this will always make grow one side (company owners) faster than the other one. Result: Social problems. Business can work out in the way Muhammad Yunus describes it: as Social Business.

  19. muy interesante la forma de hacer entender que para obtener beneficios todos debemos estar bien.-

  20. sve je to u redu ali mi u Srbiji nemamo nikakvih problema za solvingovanje ccc : )
    ustvari jedino sto nas trenutno muči je prelomiti gde iskoristiti vladine vaučera za letovanje/jesenovanje u vrednosti od 5000 din ayeah Oj Srbijo među šljivama!! : D

  21. Michael is a really smart guy but yawwwwn. The reason people don't like big business is because a select few get all the money in the world. We don't have small medium sized business anymore, this gave us an even spread of wealth and a happier life (imagine being your own boss) but now everybody has to be an employee working for a higher power almost sounds like extreme capitalism becomes communism but instead of governments we have multinationals.

  22. This is so inspiring! Business is def a great way to mitigate poverty around theworld. I think it's so important Social Entrepreneurs utilize their business skills to focus more on shared values and movement beyond market share, encourage competition as one of the means to scale impact, set a mission and empower local business people to effectively address the nuances of local markets in order to bring about significant upturns. Porter is so right about redeploying returns responsibly to tackling these issues…

  23. so essentially as long as someone can find a way to make money doing it (and it's not prohibited by government), businesses will start doing it – whatever the "it" is. and some of those "its" could be social problems.

  24. Business does have a huge opportunity to have an impact, as do individuals on a daily basis. We are all in this together.

  25. It all shows that awareness is rising and many businesses are moving to solve social problems. Just as these organisations (public listed) are required to make their accounts transparent, why the NGO's who get money from public are not required to to make their accounts transparent too? This will clear many genuine organisations who are doing great work in this direction and bring to the open, the ones who use more than 50%, some even 80% or more for their own survival and rest for the cause.
    Time has come that people who contribute to such causes, become fully aware of what actually happens to their contributions.
    Further, the governments need to know as they are big indirect contributor to these organisations as most of such contributions are tax-deductible.

  26. He only is giving examples like environment, health care leading to being more productive. However the real problems are those were your costs go up, and he doesnot answer how we should tackle those.

  27. We have the same problems that we has thousands of years ago. The only difference is that we all know about it because of information tech. However tech cant actually build you a house or go find food for you to eat.

  28. Before I click to see this video, I am 100% sure it's gonna be an american talk. Business worshiping people, a nation of philistines.

  29. 覺知與平等心~

    西藏人是原地打轉的笨蛋!你們還要跟著笨多久?….
    資訊不對稱!
    重要的東西都是成對出現的!眼睛,耳朵,手,腳!…..他們的功能非常重要!
    2000年之後,夥伴,團隊工作,teamwork 的重要性!你無法單打獨鬥!企業大概都嚐到滋味了!
    ~ Partnership! Relationship~

    還要把業障丟進河川海洋嗎?….
    認為鬼魂好騙,拐一拐他們就相信了!告訴你,他們認為其實人一樣非常好騙!….
    虛晃兩招你就相信了!….這是什麼邏輯!詐騙首腦吧!賊!
    你以為宗教團體真的是慈善嗎?笨一點的被當羔羊和白手套!聰明一點的當商業和政治籌碼!…
    不要什麼都相信!對權威要保持合理的質疑和懷疑!用理性判斷!不是眼睛和感情!

    自己配對成功,阻止別人配對成功!
    找有錢女性結婚,過過運!找替死鬼,代罪羔羊!….
    親愛的~人性只有一個,不分東西分,不分種族,國籍,…你會覺得東方沒有宗教暴力,真是見鬼的天堂了!你覺得印度是地獄還是天堂呢?


    男人在戰場上容易失去心,除非有真愛,有摯愛!
    拆毀家庭拆對子,男人失去指引就迷航!就容易攻擊男人,各個擊破,只剩下婦女弱小,
    容易控制!這就是他們的陰謀!…敵人是誰?…
    不重視家庭的,民族性不團結!小孩教育不好!國力一定不好!…
    攻擊破壞女性之路,貶抑女性價值,家庭婚姻不好,婦幼支援系統不足,兒童體質教育不好,社會結構不好,國力就被降低,資源被迫往下拉!補救後段,整體無法提升!
    是誰在主導這場戰役!看不見的敵人是誰???…..
    多去冷靜理性的質疑和懷疑!保持距離!多一分警惕,少一分損失!
    救自己的國家!為下一代做出正確的決定 …

  30. His understanding of the problem is extremely superficial. Even his definition of profit is too simplisitic when he says "profit is the difference between price and production cost". This definition does not take into account the problem of over-production and also fails to see the problem of "effective demand". If you produce some goods and services, no matter how cheap or expensive you offer it, if no one is there to buy it, you will not get any profits out of it.

  31. So what will the government roll be?? only collect taxes from companies and shareholders?? I believe in a ethical behavior from companies but they can´t save the planet and social issues by themselves.

  32. But what about something like a tobacoo company? It's core fundamental of the business ruins the environment and health of the people who uses the product, despite the fact you can argue they can increase efficiency in production of their product, create jobs which lessens the social issues. But the very core fundamental of the business and its products is what is causing that social issue such as lung cancer?

  33. I will break my "unease and tension" regarding business managers when these assholes sell their fourth cars and their fifth houses.

  34. Business can help developing countries but won't eradicate the problem completely because they are benefiting massive income from child labor and low-wage workers than giving aid to them
    I like the idea though but not implementable

  35. Only business creates wealth? Governments don't? How about government provided education? Healthcare? Why is Porter's definition of wealth limited to exchange value? Governments produce a lot of valuable services that even businesses mobilise to produce wealth.

    Porter's conception of wealth and the role of governments seems quite limited.

  36. first sound great, but when I think deeply I discover that horrify, Imagine Nestle solving the lack of water, and they privatize all the water. but before the water was for everybody but if Nestle privatizes, that isn´t sound good right?

  37. Large scale Co-Op business can change the vital goods industries. It will take team work and time to make large changes happen to fix these issues. We do have the resources. We can make money helping people using today's technology.

  38. Two main arguments I don't agree on:
    1) 'Business is the only institution creating wealth, and it can do so infinitely because profit.' Porter's main flaw in argumentation is that he assumes wealth created by business is created out of the void. Creating something, out of nothing. But business creates no resources, it uses them, usurps them. Resources become property by adding labour, following Locke's idea of property, but labour adds only the right to own, it adds nothing physical. Thinking that, due to profit, business can infinitely expand their resource 'creation' is wrong, since resources are finite. This is the whole flaw in industrial thinking and we are going to face the consequences.
    2) 'Solving social problems is in the interest of business.' While I agree that this is true, social disasters are bad for business (sometimes, war for example is great), business's have a different concept of interests. Just like people: eating McDonalds is not in my best interest, still I do it. It is short term interests that guide business.

  39. For some minutes into this video this guy sounded kinda like milo from atlantis xD does anyone else hear that? Or is it just me? Lol

  40. Dr, Porter was totally right in all what he said although most of the audience didn't agree with this. Please let me explain how he was thinking in the solutions 4 years ago and how we are realizing the solutions just nowadays. one of the comments was that we should claim capitalism that allows big business companies and manufactures generate money, but unfortunately this is wrong, because those business sold there products or services for huge consumers (for us ) we buy there products or services since we need it, since we believe in it, so if we should claim someone, we should claim ourselves in the first level. Secondly he said "business profits from solving social problems, that is where profits come from" the real explanation of this now in 2017 is like this:
    MacDonald leads to obesity and health problems because it serves an unhealthy food, they introduce a new product (salad)
    tobacco companies were responsible also for health problems, people want to get rid of cigarettes because its smells bad and bla bla bla , they shift into a new type of cigarettes (electronic cigarettes with different fruits flavors) and its a good and profitable business nowadays.
    car companies starts to innovate electronic cars, taxi companies are buying it cause it dosent consume fuel, they can reduce cost and expand the profits.

  41. माइकल पोर्टर दाई संग ठ्याक्क कुरा मिल्यो है !
    हार्भाड का प्रोफेसर र म जस्तै साधारण नेपाली नागरिक को विचार बिज्ञान त उस्तै छ गाठे !

  42. This all makes sense if your talking about middle class businesses and the benefits they bring to our society such as local jobs so people stay off food stamps and can buy shoes and insurance. Once you "Scale" this up to the level of Corporations then you get just the opposite. You lose the middle class and all the benefits they bring to our communities. Corporations put people out of work like they have the farmers, fishermen, and the local store owners. You have a corpocracy where they use robots to do the work and go around the world raping the resources from third world nations and putting people out of work with their mechanization. Those who do work are paid less now than 30 years ago. Business is the answer but home grown business.

  43. WARNING
    If your viewpoint is any tiny bit right from extreme leftist totalitarianism, don't bother reading the comment section. It has given me a headache due to an extreme lack of sensibility.

  44. Is Porter really kidding? The resources are available. The reality is that the big companies make money at the expense of society, especially in the third world. Business just does not create wealth. He seems to forget about the public sector too.

  45. Some of the people disagreeing with Porter, saying that money should not be the main driver for fixing social problems must realize that money is extremely important in our society even if you like the fact or not. We can not radically change this fact so we have to live with it and do the best we can with it. And that is what Porter is doing- seeing solutions using the tools we have at our disposal today.

  46. Mr. Porter has a short-sighted view on social problems. Wealth is not created only by businesses. Let me resume your whole talk with one word that has nothing to do with business. CONSCIOUSNESS… is the revolution for social problems.

  47. Businesses pursue their own profits even they are against people source to live, because their objective is accumulation of money despite it could affect citizens health, so bussines in reality is not compatible with social interest.

  48. between 2:08 and 2:16 He said everything you need to know about modern business. What he said in next 2 seconds doesn't make situation easier, it's just a trick to make it look like "this is not the main point of all problems". It IS, my friend… It is the main cause of problems in the world dear Porter

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  50. In fact many (if not most) of today's social problems have their roots in corporate world. So businesses may have good planning or strategic framework but lets not forget that 'mission' of business world is solely to generate profits. Can we trust such organizations to be in leadership role while addressing social problems? Never!!! However their support can be of some help in resource sharing or contributing capacity.

  51. The most important frigging talk ever in the history of environmentalism or any other world-relevant issue.

    I actually saw this take place once. A big construction project displaced tons of precious top soil…soil filled with nutrients for supporting plant life. There were two contractors involved, both laid claim to who gets to keep that topsoil (it was a contract gray area). In fact they fought aggressively over it, it was quite funny…they were redneck contractors going at each other over the precious useful nutrient-rich topsoil. They moved fast and stated their cases hard, they were stubborn and selfish, and wouldn't yield to each other. They cared for the soil, they nurtured it. Because…that top soil was valuable, ideal for landscaping. Greenpeace was not required. Government intervention not required. Protesters not required. Volunteers not needed. Both parties wanted to be the supplier of landscaping soil. When there is a synergy of incentives business GETS IT DONE. Leveraging those synergies is the only real solution to big problems. Agreed!

  52. The Tata Group has been doing this in India and globally for years and years . That s why it's sustained so well for the past 150+ years . .

  53. Lord of strategy Michael Porter… maybe he needs Joan Magretta to make his thinking accessible to us mortals or maybe, like Dawkins, he had one brilliant intuition when relatively young and now he's struggling to keep up with himself; a bit like certain bands can't replicate the greatness of their first album

  54. 3 minutes in – ULCH ….. Poisonous Phenols all over my neck of the woods. PORT HOPE … pretty town on a big lake that feeds directly into the St Lawrence River.

  55. Would Capitalism address these ideas or think about just their own profit??!!!

    definitely, collaboration between business and social suffer from greed of the capitalists.

  56. Business is a problem because of the competitive advantages. The companies are trying to achieve to occupy the market worldwide. These companies intend to do whatever they can such as cutting trees, causing air pollution, burn forests, throw plastic into the oceans etc. So, In my opinion, business has an impact on this planet, in other word, business is destroying this planet.

  57. I am thankful for businesses every time I walk into the nearest Kmart (Australian Kmart – similar to Walmart etc) and find an abundance of affordable quality items. Without stores like that my purchasing power would be much lower. Capitalism has been so incredibly successful that its achievements are now invisible to people who take it for granted.

  58. I love this. Good dude. Thumbs. Y'all are so cynical and or backwards. STFU man just appreciate he is trying to move things forward in his own (mind you, practical) way.

  59. I would have had the slightest respect while listening to Porter, if tech companies like Canon did not sell plastics called cartridges for the price tag of 60€ that have 0.01€ worth of ink in them. I have read two of his books; yes he is what we call smart. But, nowadays the definition of smart correlates with how efficiently one can ripoff the innocent ones. First, they convince themselves that they are the good guys, and then try to convince others to that lie.

  60. This only works if there are INCENTIVES to do good. Lets not be naif. If business can earn money they will: that includes "if they can do well", AND "if they can get away with it (not doing well)". So we have to get the incentives right, and use the price mechanism: e.g. price on carbon emissions. But also we should "pressure" businesses "to do well": hold them accountable, and let them be accountable. Only than there will be an overall improvement possible.

  61. I saw a mobile game startup called vidribute. They share their profits with ngos. Look it up n please support them on facebook.com/vidribute or on instagram.com/vidribute

  62. Very impressive breakdown of the topic! Sure, business is the answer in the form of social and impact Investments! With these types of investments, there is an aspect of spending more than what is received in return. However, this is a big step in the right direction! Philanthropy and CSR are not the answers to social problems or NGOs and NPOs……..it is business! Business, meaning that utilizing business strategies to bring social impact and creating a critical synergy and balance between the two. This does not however include businesses that engage in "unethical activities" because then, these types of businesses have their "core" already flawed before they even set out to begin their operations. It's utilizing business principles, models and strategies to create social value in a lucrative way that is the crux of this discussion.

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