The power of purposeful business

Published on March 30, 2022   21 min

Other Talks in the Series: The Purpose Economy

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My name is Alex Edmans, I am a professor of finance at London Business School, and author of 'Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit'. I'm here to give a talk on the power of purposeful business. On how business doesn't just have a moral and ethical case, It has a strong business and financial case.
A good place to start is to explain what I mean by a purposeful business. You might think that's kind of obvious, but in fact, I'm going to have a slightly different view of purpose from what we typically hear. To do this, let me start with a story.
Let me take you on a journey away from your home offices to halfway around the world. I would like to take you to the Great Rift Valley. This stretches across two continents and 6000 kilometres from Lebanon, in Asia, to Mozambique, in Africa. It has some of the world's highest mountains, but also some of the world's deepest lakes.
One of these lakes is Lake Magadi, which is in the Kenyan stretch of the Great Rift Valley. You might think that you haven't seen it before, but in fact, some of you might have seen it before.
Not on the small screen of your laptop, but on the big screen of a movie theatre. It was featured in the blockbuster thriller 'The Constant Gardener'. Millions of people around the world have seen this lake because they've seen this movie, but fewer than a thousand people call the lake their home.