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Conscious capitalism: capitalism with a heart

December 10, 2018



A growing movement


Conscious capitalism is a growing movement, a well spring of hope for doing things differently that has its origins in the US.  The term was new to me and, being ever curious, I wanted to discover what it was all about and exactly how (and if) it could deliver on the promise of being a much needed force for good in the world.


In a recent article in Forbes, Louis Gagnon provides a succinct explanation for why conscious capitalism is on the rise.  He highlights some hard stats – hard in that they’re real and also hard to read.  It’s a stark reminder to be told that: ‘we now know that free-market capitalism achieved shareholders' returns at the expense of Mother Earth, employees and local communities.’


Here’s a couple of them:


1% of American households own 40% of the country's wealth whilst water scarcity currently affects 40% of the global population, according to the United Nations.



Doug Whittington, a conscious capitalist whom you’ll meet properly in due course, vividly depicts it as (LISTEN: click on image to discover what Doug has to say about the current picture):


Set against this backdrop, it should probably come as no surprise that there’s a growing appetite for doing things differently.  


The Conscious Capitalism website defines the term as:


‘a way of thinking about capitalism and business that better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our world today, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world. Conscious businesses are galvanized by higher purposes that serve, align, and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders.’




Conscious Capitalism's Four Principles

It's built on four principles: higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious leadership and conscious culture.

Gagnon explains that the movement is mainly driven by the consciousness of employee-consumers who understand that our current economic system has failed them, with a further push from millennials who want to be part of the solution.

However, the part that really excited me was the unseen people uniting behind the movement to push it forward.  Having seen several LinkedIn profiles in which the professionals described themselves as ‘conscious capitalists’, it struck me that this movement is built on individuals making a personal commitment to drive it forward and be the change that they want to see in the world.

I decided to dig a bit deeper and reach out to track the human story behind one conscious capitalist’s decision to choose this path.




Doug Whittington, Conscious Capitalist

Meet Doug Whittington who shared his journey with me for this article.  Doug, Founder of Ethos RX,  describes himself as a ‘Conscious Capitalist, Cultural Idealist, Storyteller’. 


LISTEN: click on the image below to hear Doug introduce himself in his own words:






Tune in for some snippets from our conversation to learn what conscious capitalism means to Doug and how he’s helping to create a movement.




What does conscious capitalism mean to you? 


LISTEN: click on the image below to hear Doug's response.





How do you embed conscious capitalism into your professional work?


LISTEN: click on the image below to hear Doug's response.





In your opinion, why does conscious capitalism makes sense for the people who work?


LISTEN: click on the image below to hear Doug's response.





Why is it important for the younger generation to learn why conscious capitalism is a good thing?


LISTEN: click on the image below to hear Doug's response.





How are you working with others to get the word out about conscious capitalism and all the good stuff that it can do?


LISTEN: click on the image below to hear Doug's response.




With huge thanks to Doug Whittington for sharing his views on conscious capitalism.  Doug can be contacted via LinkedIn here.


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