Creative Capitalism and the Continuing Social Entre Debate

About a year ago we highlighted Bill Gates’ call for a new creative capitalism. Apparently Michael Kinsley and Connor Clarke have edited a volume responding to Bill’s call. A WSJ review by Leslie Lenkowsky looks at the new book: Creative Capitalism,

In “Creative Capitalism,” Michael Kinsley and Conor Clarke have enlisted a distinguished group of economists, journalists and executives of nonprofit organizations to assess Mr. Gates’s speech and its social-entrepreneurship theme. Their responses (which originated as entries in a “web-based discussion,” as Mr. Kinsley puts it) range from strongly supportive to sharply critical. One of the more interesting ideas found in this somewhat rambling book contends that “philanthropic” business activity is in fact at odds with what is best about capitalism itself and thus counterproductive.

The book appears to come from some online discussions and highlights some of the biggies in the space (Skoll, Yunus, etc) and some intellectual powerhouses including Milton Friedman, Lawrence Summers, and Richard Posner.

This looks like a fine addition to the growing debate in and around social entrepreneurship and its role in capitalism. Its also reminds us all of Obama’s pledge on social entrepreneurship — to create an office? Funding? What was it exactly?

The review doesn’t say much about the contributors and their thoughts on the changing demands of investors and customers and how this may influence the role of social profits in capitalism.


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