So, what is Conscious Capitalism?

To reintroduce myself and the purpose of this blog– my name is Katie and I’m a senior journalism student at UNC-CH. This semester, I’m studying Conscious Capitalism and how it’s been changing free-enterprise capitalism as a whole. I’ve begun reading the Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey and Raj Sisodia’s book Conscious Capitalism.

So, what is Conscious Capitalism? In his book, Mackey states his vision for Conscious Capitalism: “together, business leaders can liberate the extraordinary power of business and capitalism to create a world in which all people live lives full of purpose, love, and creativity – a world of compassion, freedom and prosperity.” Conscious businesses are businesses galvanized by higher purposes that serve and align the interests of all their major stakeholders, according to Mackey. These are businesses with conscious leaders who care about their people and the company’s purpose. The leaders consciously work towards creating and maintaining a vibrant, positive culture.

Conscious Capitalism


Conscious businesses understand that stakeholders really matter. The original Whole Foods Market flooded in Austin on Memorial Day in 1981. The store was eight feet underwater—all the equipment and inventory in the store were destroyed. The next day, the founders and team members started trying to salvage what they could. Mackey recalls the unexpected happening—dozens of customers and neighbors came to the store to help clean and fix the store. The support from other stakeholders was remarkable— even suppliers offered to resupply Whole Foods on credit. Because of this support, Whole Foods was able to successfully reopen.

Whole Foods Market 2


Mackey stated, “The flood demonstrated to us that all our stakeholders have the potential to form close relationships with us, to care and to commit intensely.” He then posed the question,  “What more proof did we need that stakeholders matter, that they embody the heart, soul and lifeblood of an enterprise?”

Whole Foods is not alone as a conscious business that creates multiple kinds of value and well-being for all stakeholders. Such companies include Patagonia, Google, REI, Warby Parker and many others.

Next time, I’ll discuss what Conscious Capitalism is not. Hint: It’s not Corporate Social Responsibility.

Until then!


Trending Now: Conscious Capitalism

What’s doing good while making a profit all about? There’s been a lot of talk about conscious capitalism as of recent and I want to really understand how for-profits with a conscience (and corporate social responsibility in general) tick. What motivates these different organizations? How will companies like Warby Parker and Whole Foods affect the way businesses and consumers alike think about free-enterprise capitalism?

I’m a senior public relations major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and I’ve chosen to do a semester-long independent study on corporate social responsibility. Check out my “About Me” page for more about, well just that!

Throughout the semester, I will be posting my musings and reflections on conscious capitalism while researching this topic. I’ll be reading John Mackey and Raj Sisodia’s new book entitled “Conscious Capitalism.” Mackey and Sisodia discuss the four tenets of conscious capitalism: Higher Purpose, Stakeholder Integration, Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture and Management. I plan to post in detail about these tenets while providing current examples of companies that exemplify them or perhaps do the opposite.

*Fingers crossed* I’ll be interviewing members of the social media and communication teams at different for-profits with consciences.

But for now, I’m brainstormin’ and readin’ and will be posting again soon.

Until then!