Every day we’re reminded of the good and bad that companies can do. For each B-Corp taking on a social or environmental challenge, there’s an Equifax exposing your personal data to scammers. For every corporation like Unilever–probably the most sustainable publicly owned business on the planet–there’s a Motel 6 selling out its Latino customers.
The world of business is increasingly filled with a diverse set of organizations. We have companies that are all about profit, that see their whole mission as pleasing Wall Street and their shareholders. We have companies that are partly about profit, that also want to take care of employees, customers, and the communities where they operate. We have nonprofit companies, where business is the means and the motor, but not the end.
Ethonomics, our new newsletter, is about how business can be employed for purpose, from building toilets for slums without sanitation to creating financial services that help low-income Americans out of poverty. In every email, we’ll discuss the newest businesses and business models, the most consequential technologies (from blockchain to machine learning), and consider the wider environment for purpose-driven businesses.
The big questions: How can we encourage more companies to take the planet and society seriously, whether it’s through consumer action, activism, or new policies and legislation? How can we better blend doing good with doing well and get beyond the sometime-shallowness of “corporate social responsibility”? How can business create an economy that’s beneficial to more of its participants, not just the people currently in charge and in power?
To subscribe to Ethonomics, please offer up your email in the box below (we promise not to share it with identity thieves in Vladivostok). If there are subjects you want covered in the weeks ahead, we’re very open to ideas. Please contact me at BSchiller at fastcompany.com or on Twitter (@btschiller). Above all: welcome, welcome.