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How will Theresa May reform Capitalism?

"We can choose to not reform capitalism, leave human beings to die from deprivation – where we are now – and understand that that puts people in self-defense mode.

"When in self-defense mode, kill or be killed, there is no civilization at all.  It is the law of the jungle, where we started eons ago.  In that context, 'terrorism' will likely flourish because it is 'terrorism' only for the haves, not for the have-nots.  The have-nots already live in terror, as their existence is threatened by deprivation, and they have the right to fight back any way they can.

'They' will fight back, and do.  "

This was the warning made in 1996 to US President Bill Clinton. A warning repeated at the 2010 conference on Economics for Ecology in Sumy,  

We learn today, that British PM Theresa May says we need to reform capitalism

'Businesses can harness ingenuity and innovation to meet the challenge of climate change, and conduct their operations in such a way that improves and adds value to their local communities. Of course government must continue to deliver for society, but the contribution made by responsible corporate behaviour is more important than ever.

This is recognised by our new prime minister. Theresa May made reforming capitalism a key theme of her truncated leadership campaign and has returned to the “industrial strategy” put in place during Vince Cable’s tenure as business secretary. She has promised a crackdown on irresponsible corporate behaviour, with new regulations to increase transparency, curb executive pay and secure representation for workers and customers in corporate governance. When a right-wing Conservative appoints a minister for corporate responsibility, business needs to take the hint.'

The Sumy presentations and study guide to the economic crisis were a small part of what people-centered business contributed in Ukraine. The largest by far was the life of founder Terry Hallman.

In 2007, with a blueprint for replicating the people-centered business model on a national scale, P-CED delivered a 'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine  Sharing online prompted a remarkable response, as did the story I shared about it for McKinsey's Long Term Capitalism challenge - Re-imagining capitalism: The new 'Bottom Line'

I chose to describe it as the 'New Bottom Line' because of the recurring emphasis on taking the bottom line past profit to people. For example in our 2004 business plan, with a message for the New Labour government.

"Traditional capitalism is an insufficient economic model allowing monetary outcomes as the bottom line with little regard to social needs. Bottom line must be taken one step further by at least some companies, past profit, to people. How profits are used is equally as important as creation of profits. Where profits can be brought to bear by willing individuals and companies to social benefit, so much the better. Moreover, this activity must be recognized and supported at government policy level as a badly needed, essential, and entirely legitimate enterprise activity.”

And in the Marshall Plan:

'An inherent assumption about capitalism is that profit is defined only in terms of monetary gain. This assumption is virtually unquestioned in most of the world. However, it is not a valid assumption. Business enterprise, capitalism, must be measured in terms of monetary profit. That rule is not arguable. A business enterprise must make monetary profit, or it will merely cease to exist. That is an absolute requirement. But it does not follow that this must necessarily be the final bottom line and the sole aim of the enterprise. How this profit is used is another question. It is commonly assumed that profit will enrich enterprise owners and investors, which in turn gives them incentive to participate financially in the enterprise to start with.

That, however, is not the only possible outcome for use of profits. Profits can be directly applied to help resolve a broad range of social problems: poverty relief, improving childcare, seeding scientific research for nationwide economic advancement, improving communications infrastructure and accessibility, for examples – the target objectives of this particular project plan.'

What Sir Richard Branson and Paul Polman of Unilever say today is remarkably aligned with this people-centered approach to business and Ukraine. 

People-Centred business, business which puts people first, has also been embraced by Cooperatives Europe and Fair Trade International.         

Harriet Lamb, CEO of Fair Trade International, explained: “Businesses alone are not enough to tackle poverty; the EU should foster people-centred businesses. Cooperatives and Fair Trade have shown that they put high standards and strict rules on businesses, that they put people first, and still they are successful.” 

I describe people-centered business as business as if other people mattered. 

So much for the rhetoric. Founder Terry Hallman had taken putting other people first quite literally when he spoke out about corruption and neglect in Ukraine's orphanages.

'The author of breakthru report “Death camps for children” Terry Hallman suddenly died of grave disease on Aug 18 2011. On his death bed he was speaking only of his mission – rescuing of these unlucky kids. His dream was to get them new homes filled with care and love. His quest would be continued as he wished.'

When finally, the story reached mainstream media, we were informed that no-one was speaking out:

 

 

This was far from the truth. In 2010 David Cameron had been petitioned for support, for example.

USAID and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had been called on for support in 2008:  

'Then there’s another kids issue, that of baby parts. Allegations against maternity hospital number six here in Kharkiv, for one example I happen to know due to close proximity, have been investigated and confirmed by BBC and rapporteurs from Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe regarding killing healthy babies in hospital at birth and disappearing body parts into an international black market. At least one mass grave was located and disinterred, showing babies chopped to pieces with brains, internal organs, and apparently bone marrow having been removed. This was exposed by way of extraordinary bravery on the part of one young lady affiliated with Kharkiv Human Rights Group (KHPG). Why there is no criminal case about this, I do not know. Ask Kyiv, and observe what happens. BBC and PACE have all evidence.'

People-Centered business was introduced to the UK in 2004 as a free to use model.

Who will build their reputation by passing it off as their own?