Humanistic capitalism


Humanistic capitalism

Humanistic capitalism is a concept that seeks to marry humanism, specifically the safety and health needs of people and the environment, with an embrace of market forces and a market-based economy.

Muhammad Yunus describes Humanistic Capitalism as a socially-conscious business world where investors are content to recoup their investments but do not expect additional dividends. [http://www.alliancemagazine.org/online/html/aojun07e.html] The idea of humanistic capitalism is linked with the idea that fundamental changes must take place in economics today, as humanistic capitalism requires that there be a blending of the non-profit and for-profit sectors. If investors can accept the decrease in financial returns for those on a social level, humanistic capitalism will become a successful force in driving economic and social change. Philanthropy is a fundamental concept to humanistic capitalism. While the idea of humanistic capitalism is still growing, over “72% percent of social entrepreneurs say that raising money is a problem,” and fundraising is a major issue to social entrepreneurs, who rely on philanthropy for support and funding. [Caroline Hartnell. [http://www.alliancemagazine.org/online/html/aojun07e.html] ]

Businesses today

There are also many businesses today that already combine the needs of the environment with the needs of people and the environment. SustainAbility [http://www.sustainability.com/] , a company established in 1987, defines their purpose as to “seek solutions to social and environmental challenges that deliver long term value,” and has worked on projects to “identify opportunities to innovate products and services with a reduced environmental footprint.” [Client Case Studies [http://www.sustainability.com/consultingservices/clientexperience.asp?id=1046] ]

Other views

Ira Rohter, a professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaii, promotes humanistic capitalism as a way to restore power to the people of Hawaii and their environment. She advocates that all growth be sustainable, self-reliant, and not only focused on profit, but the needs of people. Another key concept of humanistic capitalism, she adds, is a democratic economy way based on “cooperation [and] openness” in order to meet the needs of Hawii’s people and environment. [Ira Rogher. [http://www2.hawaii.edu/~irohter/AlternativeEconomyArticle.htm] ]

References


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