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.
Throughout history, we have not had much success with alternatives to capitalism. Because of this, we have been left with the task of humanising capitalism; preserving the dynamism of markets, trade and entrepreneurial energy while finding better ways to distribute the surplus they create and reshape the processes that produce it.
It seems 2020 is the year of unprecedented events.
From the unforeseen Corona Virus Pandemic, to tech giants such as Amazon joining the trillion dollar club. For centuries, capitalism has been designed to empower businesses and ultimately maximise shareholders wealth. Amazon held its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq on May 15, 1997, at a price of $18 per share. $10,000 invested on that day and at that price would be worth more than $12 million as of May, 2020.
That’s more than 120,000% growth. Since then, all we talk about is how well companies such as Tesla, Facebook and Amazon are doing. It is all about performance. It is all about profit. It is all about money. But what about people?
Performance is important. Value is important. People are important. We tend to champion the likes of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos for their exceptional business acumen and achievements, but tend to forget the army of people that helped get them there. The very core of their businesses. The workers, coders, cleaners, developers and everybody else.
Why is this important?
Things are changing. The bottom line is and always will be important for any business, but we are forgetting the importance of people.
I was once sitting in a coffee shop, alone and with my cappuccino. I do this often and find pleasure in being in a social setting, while analysing people and everything around me. However, on this particular day it dawned on me that the coffee shop was absolutely nothing without the waitress serving me.
In China, robotic restaurants are becoming a revolutionary part of their society. People are able to visit a restaurant and have zero human interaction while enjoying their meal. Some people may call this a technological advancement, while others, like myself, see this as a form of devolution for the human race. For me, a coffee without the human element is simply meaningless. It is not about the coffee, it is about the experience. Just like it is not just about dinner, but really about the experience.
Human beings are a social species, thriving on interaction, affection and physicality. From a simple walk to the coffee shop in the morning or having a drink at a bar, most human beings are stimulated by crowded interactions. We need it. We need people.
It was at this moment, while witnessing the waiters and waitresses hustling between customers and kitchen that I realised that the fundamental foundation of this business, and others alike, were and always will be the people.
Technology has yet to replicate human emotions or our emotional intelligence, and until that day, I will always want to be in a coffee shop with human beings rather than robots.
Automation, Automation, Automation
With everything becoming automated, we are seeing a considerable increase and uptake in the digitalisation of many tasks, jobs and activities. Our lifestyles are being modified and automated, without us really taking any note of the changes. From social media to self-driving cars, we are becoming a dependent species who rely on the system.
With this notion, it suggests that as a human species which once thrived on our need for survival, we have simply become co-dependent beings. With technology, we no longer seek the answer within, but rather search google to find it. We have become dependent on the tools around us and we have forgotten our raw power, meaning and purpose. Maybe it is already too late?
What do you think?
I am most often asked what the next ‘smart money’ tech trend is in fintech. I am now happy to report it is not blockchain, bitcoin, or AI. It is humanity.
Profit With Purpose
There has been an unprecedented connection of business and purpose.
The reality of business is that questions are now being asked. People should no longer accept everything they read and hear and begin questioning the very business leaders of today. With reference to The Social Dilemmapeople are beginning to understand that they themselves are the product. We are no longer accepting the notion of profit, but rather seek to know the purpose and value derived from profit itself.
- How are businesses impacting the world?
- How are businesses impacting people?
- How are businesses driving solution orientated processes to solve economic problems?
Most of what we are experiencing in 2020 is the byproduct of our humanitarian problems. We, the people, are the core of our very own self-destruction. We have failed to see our value. We are the centre of capitalism, but we are not the forefront. We have simply allowed the world to operate around us, without taking ownership.
profit with purpose > profit
People all around the world are beginning to question the integrity of businesses and their intent to offer a solution or product that improves the lives of people. Facebook Mogul Mark Zuckerberg has been taking the heat for many years, for his involvement in one of the biggest data scandals of the century; Cambridge Analytica. People want answers. People want to support businesses that are ethical and moral.
But What is Humanistic Capitalism in Practice?
We have had some great teachers educating us, our role models now and then, and they told us something magical: to live in harmony and without harming Creation. A just idea, a contemporary idea that they have helped shape.
Well, what I mean by humanistic capitalism is precisely this idea, this concept of “fairness”. A fair and sustainable profit, a profit harmonised with giving back, and here comes the first main theme: striking a balance between profit and giving back; donating to the world as guardians of creation, leaving to those coming after us not the very same world we found, but a more amiable one.
Secondly: making profit with ethics, dignity and morals. I don’t know if I have succeeded, but this was my goal: not harming mankind in the process, or as little as possible.
In contemporary times, because of Internet, you must be credible. Entrepreneurs must be true to themselves, because today everything you say and do is there for all to see. And one slip is enough to lose credibility.
People are the next revolution.
Humanity is the next revolution.
Purpose and value will form part of the next revolution.
We can live in a capitalist world where people are the centre of our focus. We can change the world and continue to make money. We can solve problems while maximising shareholders wealth.
Without a doubt, as a species, we have advanced in so many ways. With that, the intention is usually always good. People want to help others, it is in our DNA. People want to solve problems and create a positive change. When did we lose focus? When did we shift away from people?
The questions I leave you with are as follows:
- Where do you see the world moving to next?
- Is Humanistic Capitalism plausible?
- Are you ready for the Fifth Industrial Revolution?
- Are you ready to stand for humanity and drive purpose driven profit?
In a world of algorithms, hashtags and followers. Know that true importance is the human connection.
The future of our country, economy and our world are the very people that belong to it. The success of our development and advancement is and always be backed by the human species. People business. Business people. Without human beings, business wouldn’t thrive. There will always be a space for automation, but without the emotional element of the human being, we will always miss a fundamental element of business.