Business Matters 2021 – What is the Purpose of Business?

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Milton Friedman famously argued that the sole social responsibility of business was to create value for shareholders. This view was the predominant view for decades. In 2019, the Business Roundtable made headlines, by adopting a stakeholder capitalism model, which calls on businesses to look beyond profit maximization, and to consider other business constituents, such as employees, suppliers, the community and even broader social concerns, such as environment or racial justice. Our three speakers will engage in a fruitful conversation on this topic, illustrating the different answers one might give to the question “What is the purpose of business?”