Not Business As Usual

Not Business As Usual is a brand new documentary that challenges the status quo of how corporations operate by showcasing “conscious capitalism”.  The successful stories of different entrepreneurs highlight the central message of the documentary; that businesses don’t have to compromise profit in order to create valuable social impact. So, we have to go beyond maximizing shareholder value to add value to the world we live in.

A large part of the documentary is about B corporations (or benefit corporations). This is a new legal corporate form in the United States designed for for-profit entities that want to consider society and the environment in addition to profit in their decision making process. These B corporations differ from traditional corporations in regards to their purpose, accountability and transparency. It’s a new and very promising business philosophy. In the UK and Germany are similar developments: Community Interest Company, Gemeinnützige GmbH and Gemeinnützige Kapitalgesellschaft are new corporate forms. The documentary ends, surprisingly enough, with a quote of neoliberal economist Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006):

“What does it mean to say that “business” has responsibilities? Only people can have responsibilities.” 

Maybe, we just misunderstood Friedman…