122. Rebecca Henderson – Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Rebecca Henderson, FBA, is an economist and author of Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire. She is a professor at Harvard Business School, where she teaches Reimagine Capitalism, the most successful MBA elective course at HBS in the last five years. In addition to her authorship and work at Harvard, Rebecca also serves as Research Fellow at the National Bureau for Economic Research and as a sustainability advisor to the world’s largest companies. Rebecca is a leading authority in organizational and strategic change whose work focuses on purpose-driven capitalism and the role that businesses and individuals can play in making change happen.

Rebecca joins me today to share her ideas on Reimagining Capitalism and contemplate how we can contribute as individuals to social, political, and economic change. She illustrates how the idea of shareholder value maximization is destructive to the environment and society and reveals the two foremost causes of the world’s enduring predicaments. She also describes how working with others can act as an antidote to despair and highlights the need to reimagine democracy as a means to reimagine – and change – capitalism.

“We will only be able to reimagine capitalism if we bring our personal purpose to work.” – Rebecca Henderson

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The roots of the world’s problems and why Rebecca wrote Reimagining Capitalism
  • The destructive nature of maximizing shareholder value
  • Our illusion of separateness and what makes it difficult for us to think about others and the future
  • Finding our paths to changing the world and how we give up our power by believing we don’t have any
  • Working with others to drive change as an antidote to despair
  • Self-care as a radical act of political resistance and the importance of finding joy
  • How writing and publishing Reimagining Capitalism has changed Rebecca’s life
  • Why we need to reimagine our democracy
  • Rebecca’s writing routine and how it has evolved over the years
  • The challenge of cultivating discipline in writing and the role of caffeine in Rebecca’s work as a writer
  • How Rebecca identified stories to include in Reimagining Capitalism
  • The most challenging part of writing and Rebecca’s advice for writers

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Rebecca Henderson:

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