Conscious business

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(Redirected from Conscious capitalism)

Conscious business[1] enterprises are those which choose to follow a multiple stakeholder approach, as opposed to 'traditional business' strategy, which focuses primarily on shareholders and profit maximation. In contrast, conscious businesses can be double-bottom line, triple-bottom line, or more, by focusing on other stakeholders (beyond shareholders) such as employees, customers, measurable positive societal impact, the community, or the environment.

The conscious capitalism movement in the U.S. emerged from the theory of corporate social responsibility, which pushes for a "values-based" approach where values represent social and environmental concerns both locally and globally. This effort is related to not-just-for-profit business models, conscious consumerism, conscious leadership, impact investing, and conscious capitalism. The conscious capitalism movement has grown to include B-corporations, which are now legal in 40 states, and impact investing, which has grown to more than $25 billion in assets under management. Awareness of the conscious capitalism movement grew from the Presidential campaign of Jason Palmer

There is an alternative way of thinking about conscious business emerging in the U.K., and perhaps other countries, which tries to avoid reification, regarding it less as a thing or a type of business which can be categorised, and more as an ongoing process including awareness, self-awareness, awareness of purpose, practice (social theory) and relationships.[2]

In Italy, De Nardi Gianluca illustrates through the use of business cases how every company could adopt conscious business processes.[3]

Conscious business criteria[edit]

Doing no harm[edit]

It is generally agreed upon that the product or service of a conscious business should not be intrinsically harmful to humans or the environment.[4] However, it is possible for such a business to be taking part in the conscious business movement if it is taking conscious steps to be more aware of its social and environmental effects, and to adopt more beneficial social or environmental practices.

Triple Bottom Line Model[edit]

Most conscious businesses subscribe to a Triple Bottom Line model of success. They aim to provide positive value in the domains of people, planet, and profit.[5] The phrase "Triple Bottom Line" was coined by business writer John Elkington in 1994.[5]

Further reading[edit]

  • Abergene, Patricia; Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism. Hampton Roads Publishing Company (September 2005).
  • Burden, P and Warwick R; Leading Mindfully. Burden and Warwick (2015)
  • Dalai Lama and Cutler, H; The Art of Happiness at Work. Hodder and Stoughton (2003)
  • De Nardi, Gianluca; The business model of 'conscious companies' The EcorNaturaSì case"". Ca' Foscari University of Venice (2017)
  • Haque, Umair; Betterness: Economics for Humans. Harvard Business Review Press (December 19, 2011)
  • Hawken, Paul; Natural Capitalism. Back Bay Books; 1st edition (October 12, 2000).
  • Kofman, Fred; Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Your Values. Sounds True: September (2006).
  • Mackey, John; Sisodia, Rajendra; Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. Harvard Business Press (January 2013)
  • McInnes, Will; Culture Shock. John Wiley & Sons (2012)
  • Price, John; The Conscious Investor. John Wiley & Sons (2011)
  • Renesch, John; Conscious Leadership. Brown & Herron (June 17, 2002)
  • Sisodia, Rajendra; Wolfe, David; Sheth, Jagdish; Firms of Endearment: How World-class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose. Pearson Prentice Hall (February 10, 2007)
  • Sisodia, Rajendra; Gelb, Michael J.; The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World. HarperCollins Leadership (September 2019).[6]
  • Stahlhofer, Nicolas; Schmidkonz, Christian; Kraft, Patricia "Conscious Business in Germany" Springer (December 2017)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kofman, Fred (2006). Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values. Boulder: Sounds True. ISBN 978-1591795179
  2. ^ Pete Burden and Rob Warwick: Exploring Conscious Business Practice: Sensing as we act, reacting to what we sense AMED, 2 December 2013
  3. ^ De Nardi, Gianluca (2017), The business model of 'conscious companies' The EcorNaturaSì case. in M. Fasan and S. Bianchi in The sustainable company. Trends, tools and case studies, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, pp. 129-158 (Italian version), English version 2019
  4. ^ Howes, Lewis (5 August 2014). "5 Secrets to Building a Business – With Heart". Entrepreneur Magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Triple bottom line". The Economist. Nov 17, 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  6. ^ Sisodia, Rajendra. The healing organization : awakening the conscience of business to help save the world. Gelb, Michael J. New York. ISBN 0-8144-3981-0. OCLC 1090842187.