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Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth, and Humanity / Edition 2
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Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth, and Humanity / Edition 2

1.0 2
by Stuart L. Hart, Al Gore

ISBN-10: 0136134394

ISBN-13: 9780136134398

Pub. Date: 08/01/2007

Publisher: Wharton School Publishing

"Capitalism at the Crossroads is built on strong theoretical underpinnings and illustrated with many practical examples. The author offers a pioneering roadmap to responsible macroeconomics and corporate growth."
-Clayton Christensen, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator's Dilemma

"I hope this book will


"Capitalism at the Crossroads is built on strong theoretical underpinnings and illustrated with many practical examples. The author offers a pioneering roadmap to responsible macroeconomics and corporate growth."
-Clayton Christensen, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator's Dilemma

"I hope this book will be able to influence the thought processes of corporations and motivate them to adapt to forthcoming business realities for the sake of their own long-term existence. Besides business leaders, this is a thought-provoking book for the readers who are looking for solutions to capitalism’s problems."
-Muhammad Yunus, Founder and Managing Director, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize recipient

"Capitalism at the Crossroads is a practical manifesto for business in the twenty-first century. Professor Stuart L. Hart provides a succinct framework for managers to harmonize concerns for the planet with wealth creation and unambiguously demonstrates the connection between the two. This book represents a turning point in the debate about the emerging role and responsibility of business in society."
-C.K. Prahalad, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, co-author of Competing for the Future and author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

"Stuart Hart was there at the beginning. Years ago when the term ‘sustainability’ had not yet reached the business schools, Stuart Hart stood as a beacon glowing in the umbrage. It is clear commerce is the engine of change, design the first signal of human intention, and global capitalism is at the crossroads. Stuart Hart is there again; this time lighting up the intersection."
-William McDonough, University of Virginia, co-author of Cradle to Cradle

"Professor Hart is on the leading edge of making sustainability an understandable and useful framework for building business value. This book brings together much of his insights developed over the past decade. Through case studies and practical advice, he argues powerfully that unlimited opportunities for profitable business growth will flow to those companies that bring innovative technology and solutions to bear on some of the world’s most intractable social and environmental problems."
-Chad Holliday, Chairman and CEO, DuPont

"Capitalism at the Crossroads clearly reveals the essence of what sustainability means to today’s business world. Hart’s analysis that businesses must increasingly adopt a business framework based on building sustainable value speaks to the entire sustainability movement’s relevance. Sustainability is more than today’s competitive edge; it is tomorrow’s model for success."
-Don Pether, President and CEO, Dofasco Inc.

"Stuart Hart has written a book full of big insights painted with bold strokes. He may make you mad. He will certainly make you think."
-Jonathan Lash, President, The World Resources Institute

"A must-read for every CEO—and every MBA."
-John Elkington, Chairman, SustainAbility

"This book provides us with a vast array of innovative and practical ideas to accelerate the transformation to global sustainability and the role businesses and corporations will have to play therein. Stuart Hart manages to contribute in an essential way to the growing intellectual capital that addresses this topic. But, beyond that, the book will also prove to be a pioneer in the literature on corporate strategy by adding this new dimension to the current thinking."
-Jan Oosterveld, Professor, IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain Member, Group Management Committee (Ret.), Royal Philips Electronics

"Capitalism at the Crossroads captures a disturbing and descriptive picture of the global condition. Dr. Hart constructs a compelling new corporate business model that simultaneously merges the metric of profitability along with societal value and environmental integrity. He challenges the corporate sector to take the lead and to invoke this change so that the benefits of capitalism can be shared with the entire human community worldwide."
-Mac Bridger, CEO of Tandus Group

"Stuart L. Hart makes a very important contribution to the understanding of how enterprise can help save the world’s environment. Crucial reading."
-Hernando de Soto, President of The Institute for Liberty and Democracy and author of The Mystery of Capital

"Stuart Hart’s insights into the business sense of sustainability come through compellingly in Capitalism at the Crossroads. Any businessperson interested in the long view will find resonance with his wise reasoning."
-Ray Anderson, Founder and Chairman, Interface, Inc.

"This stimulating book documents the central role that business will play in humanity’s efforts to develop a sustainable global economy. Professor Hart presents an attractive vision of opportunity for those corporations that develop the new technologies, new business models, and new mental frames that are essential to a sustainable future."
-Jeffrey Lehman, Former President of Cornell University

"The people of the world are in desperate need of new ideas if global industrial development is ever to result in something other than the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, with nature (and potentially all of us) suffering the collateral damage. Few have contributed more to meeting this need over the past decade than Stuart Hart by helping to illuminate the potential role for business and new thinking in business strategy in the journey ahead. Capitalism at the Crossroads challenges, provokes, and no doubt will stimulate many debates—which is exactly what is needed."
-Peter Senge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chairperson of the Society for Organizational Learning, and author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization

New Foreword by Al Gore
Brand-New Second Edition, Completely Revised with:

  • Up-to-the-minute trends and lessons learned
  • New and updated case studies
  • The latest corporate responses to climate change, energy, and terrorism

Global capitalism stands at a crossroads-facing terrorism, environmental destruction, and anti-globalization backlash. Today's global companies are at a crossroads, too-searching desperately for new sources of profitable growth. Stuart L. Hart's Capitalism at the Crossroads, Second Edition is about solving both of those problems at the same time.

It's about igniting new growth by creating sustainable products that solve urgent societal problems. It's about using new technology to deliver profitable solutions that reduce poverty and protect the environment. It's about becoming truly indigenous to all your markets, and avoiding the pitfalls of first-generation "greening" and "sustainability" strategies.

Hart has thoroughly revised this seminal book with new case studies, trends, and lessons learned-including the latest experiences of leaders like GE and Wal-Mart. You'll find new insights from the pioneering BoP Protocol initiative, in which multinationals are incubating new businesses in income-poor communities. You'll also discover creative new ways in which corporations are responding to global warming and terrorism. More than ever, this book points the way toward a capitalism that's more inclusive, more welcome, and far more successful-for both companies and communities, worldwide.

  • Paths to profitable sustainability: Lessons from GE and Wal-Mart
  • Shattering the "trade-off" myth
  • New commercial strategies for serving the "base of the pyramid"
  • What enterprises have learned about doing business in income-poor regions
  • Becoming indigenous-for real, for good
  • Codiscovering new opportunities, cocreating new businesses with the poor
  • Learning from leaders: 20+ new and updated case studies
  • Best practices from DuPont, HP, Unilever, SC Johnson, Tata, P&G, Cemex, and more

About the Author xii Acknowledgments xiii Foreword: Al Gore, Former Vice President of the U.S. xxiv Foreword: Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. xxvii Prologue: Capitalism at the Crossroads xxxi

Chapter 1: From Obligation to Opportunity 3
Chapter 2: Worlds in Collision 31
Chapter 3: The Sustainable Value Portfolio 59

Chapter 4: Creative Destruction and Sustainability 87
Chapter 5: The Great Leap Downward 111
Chapter 6: Reaching the Base of the Pyramid 139

Chapter 7: Broadening the Corporate Bandwidth 169
Chapter 8: Developing Native Capability 193
Chapter 9: Toward a Sustainable Global Enterprise 223

Epilogue 249

Index 254

Product Details

Wharton School Publishing
Publication date:
Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks Series
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents

About the Author     xii
Acknowledgments     xiii
Foreword   Al Gore     xxiv
Foreword   Fisk Johnson     xxvii
Prologue     xxxi
Mapping the Terrain
From Obligation to Opportunity     3
The Great Trade-Off Illusion     5
The Greening Revolution     7
Shattering the Trade-Off Myth     9
Breaking Free of Command-and-Control     10
Beyond Greening     14
Raging Against the Machine     17
Smart Mobs Versus Smart Globalization     19
Becoming Indigenous     21
The Road Ahead     23
Overview of the Book     24
Notes     28
Worlds in Collision     31
The Three Economies     33
The Money Economy     34
The Traditional Economy     36
Nature's Economy     38
Collision Course     40
New Lenses on the Global Market     42
Developed Markets: Reducing Corporate Footprint     44
Emerging Markets: Avoiding the Collision     47
Traditional Markets: Understanding Real Needs     50
The Value Proposition     55
Notes     55
The Sustainable Value Portfolio     59
Sustainability Buzzwords     60
Elements of Shareholder Value     62
The Buzzword Sort     64
Connecting the Dots: The Sustainable Value Portfolio     67
Growing Profits and Reducing Risk Through Pollution Prevention     68
Enhancing Reputation and Legitimacy Through Product Stewardship     69
Accelerating Innovation and Repositioning Through Clean Technology     72
Crystallizing the Firm's Growth Path and Trajectory at the Base of the Pyramid     73
Charting the Sustainable Value Portfolio     76
The Road to Sustainability     78
Pursuing the White Space     81
Notes     83
Beyond Greening
Creative Destruction and Sustainability     87
Continuous Improvement Versus Creative Destruction     88
Greening = Continuous Improvement     89
Beyond Greening = Creative Destruction     91
Developing an Ecomagination     95
From Textile Dyes to Biomaterials     97
Using Carbon Dioxide to Change the World     99
Whole Systems Thinking     100
Reinventing the Wheels     103
Technologies of Liberation      106
Eating Your Own Lunch     108
Notes     109
The Great Leap Downward     111
Birth of the BoP     112
The Tip of the Iceberg     114
Creative Creation     118
Driving Innovation from the Base of the Pyramid     121
Connecting the World     123
Power to the People     127
Food, Health, and Hope?     131
A New Development Paradigm     134
Taking the Leap     136
Notes     137
Reaching the Base of the Pyramid     139
BoP Pioneers     140
It's the Business Model, Stupid     142
Removing Constraints     145
Increasing Earning Power     148
Creating New Potential     152
Assessing Sustainability Impact     156
Village Phones: The Triple Bottom Line     159
The MNC Advantage     162
A Common Cause     164
Notes     165
Becoming Indigenous
Broadening the Corporate Bandwidth     169
Learning from Ladakh     170
The Post-Development Challenge     173
Radical Transactiveness     177
Fanning Out: Extending the Scope of the Firm     179
Fanning In: Integrating Diverse and Disconfirming Information     182
Expanding Our Concept of the Global Economy     187
From Alien to Native     189
Notes     190
Developing Native Capability     193
Next Generation Strategies and Skills     195
Engage First, Design Second     197
Coinvent Custom Solutions     200
Experiment with Low-Cost Probes     203
Fly Under the Radar     205
Work with Nontraditional Partners     208
Build Social, Not Legal, Contracts     210
Toward a Base of the Pyramid Protocol     213
Moving Beyond the Multinational Model     219
Notes     220
Toward a Sustainable Global Enterprise     223
Draining the Swamp     224
The Next Tsunami     226
Becoming Indigenous     228
Making it Happen in the Real World     231
Avoid the Top-Down Bias     231
Think as a Disrupter     233
Reinvent Cost Structures     235
Transform the Meaning of Scale     236
Aligning the Organization     237
Building the Cathedral      243
Postscript     246
Notes     247
Epilogue     249
Index     254

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