The times we are living in are characterized by multiple, simultaneous crises at the ecological, economic, social and, more recently, health level. The disastrous effects produced by this fatal synchronicity have brought to the realization that, if we are to safeguard the continuation of life on this planet, capitalism needs to be either reformed or completely transcended towards fundamentally different societies and economies. Interestingly, this position, usually the slogan of progressive political and environmental activists, is starting to gain support not only among international institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations, but also among multinational corporations, top managers, investment banks, think-tanks and consultancy companies. As a consequence of this shared realization, many governments are starting to call for the implementation of a Green New Deal able to foster the transition to a more ecological and sustainable economy. Following a similar trend, multinational corporations of the energy sector are claiming that they will “turn the switch” towards more sustainable ways of producing energy, investment banks are proposing new green assets and loans, consultancy companies are beginning to rate companies according to their ESG impact (i.e., impact on environment, society, governance). As a reaction, it then becomes legitimate to wonder whether we are witnessing a true “awakening” of capitalism or whether this is only another way to allow “business as usual” to continue.
This event is conceived as a dialogue between two leading voices in the debate around the possibility of transforming capitalism, Rebecca Henderson (Harvard Business School) and Julia Ott (New School for Social Research, NYC). The discussion will revolve around the following central question: Are we witnessing a true awakening of capitalism and, as such, an unprecedented moment in history, or is talking about “conscious”, “green” and “sustainable capitalism” a mere oxymoron?
ModeratorLara Monticelli, Assistant Professor and Marie Skłodowska Curie fellow at the Dept. of Management, Politics and Philosophy and member of the CBS research cluster “Transformative Economies and Societies”
Date and Time9 December 2021, 15.30-17.00
PlaceCBS, Solbjerg Plads 3, SPs10 or online (via Zoom link)