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“The Profiteers” with Christopher Marquis • Purpose 360 • Episode 172

“The Profiteers” with Christopher Marquis

We are facing a tragedy of the commons — and have been for a while. At worst, businesses are taking advantage of the planet and society and aren’t holding themselves fully responsible for the damage they are doing. When companies release excessive carbon into the air or keep wages low, the resulting environmental damage and societal burdens are paid for by the average citizen and the taxpayer.

Christopher Marquis explores this reality in his new book, The Profiteers. He explains the systemic issues underlying today’s most pressing global challenges, from climate change to inequality, shedding light on the ways in which businesses privatize gains while socializing costs. But at the heart of Marquis’s work lies a call to action for leaders across sectors to embrace a new vision of business. The Profiteers serves not only as a wake-up call to the inherent flaws of our current system but provides a roadmap for a more sustainable and equitable future.

We invited Christopher Marquis, Cambridge University professor and author of other books (including Mao and Markets: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise and Better Business: How the B Corp Movement Is Remaking Capitalism), to discuss how The Profiteers exposes the hidden toll of environmental damage, low wages, and systemic discrimination, calling for a paradigm shift in business practices.

Listen for insights on:

  • The exploitation of the “the commons” by businesses
  • How governance alignment can help corporate sustainability efforts succeed
  • Examples of creative thinking that led to social and environmental innovation

Resources + Links:

Business is an unlikely hero: a force for good working to solve society’s most pressing challenges, while boosting bottom line. This is social purpose at work. And it’s a dynamic journey.

Purpose 360 is a masterclass in unlocking the potential of social purpose to ignite business and social impact. We illuminate the growing impacts of purpose, from engaging employees and fostering deeper consumer loyalty to inspiring product innovation and increasing market share.