Looking to the Future – Transforming Capitalism
On Tuesday 7 September 2010 at the Scottish Parliament, Dr Peter Heslam, a Senior Member of Trinity College, Cambridge and Director of Transforming Business, gave the fourth talk in business matters’ Looking to the Future series. Around 60 people gathered to hear Dr Heslam speak on the topic of “Transforming Capitalism”. business matters is grateful to David McLetchie MSP who sponsored the event and to the staff of the Parliament for hosting us on the evening.
To listen to what was a fascinating and thought provoking talk (41 min) and Q&A session (5 min) use the icons at the foot of the page.
Starting from the question “What causes wealth?” rather than “What causes poverty?”, Peter discussed the need for social capital to exist in order to allow an entrepreneurial approach to business. He expanded the term “social capital” into its constituent parts of “institutional capital”, “relational capital”, “moral capital” and “spiritual capital” and outlined how business could positively contribute to each of these.
Using examples drawn from the business and financial worlds of previous and current generations, he showed how entrepreneurs such as George Cadbury and Simon Marks had adopted an approach to business which looked to investment and working for the long term good of the company and its employees as well as addressing some of the social issues of the day.
That approach was based on a virtue which Peter encouraged business to consider for today’s economic climate – THRIFT. With this approach, Peter argued, business could indeed help to make poverty history.
Peter’s website Transforming Business is worthy of examination and his latest book, referred to at the start of his talk, features there and you can obtain a copy, price £3.95.