Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking at the D10 Conference, touching upon the subject of Apple’s manufacturing in China. Of course Apple has been widely criticized for worker conditions at its supplier factories. He also addresses the question of whether an Apple product will ever be labeled ‘Made in the USA’ again, rather than having most processes handled in China.
Ben & Jerry are on the hunt for bright sparks in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden & Netherlands, creating cool new models for sustainable business which will help make a difference in communities.
The list of the world’s CEOs regularly includes celebrities, billionaires, big egos, risk takers, and failures. What it does not include are social media experts; but that’s about to change. When IBM (NYSE: IBM) conducted its study of 1709 CEOs around the world, they found only 16% of them participating in social media. But their analysis shows that the percentage will likely grow to 57% within 5 years. Why? because CEOs are beginning to recognize that using email and the phone to get the message out isn’t sufficient anymore.
There are many drawbacks to capitalism. But capitalism and entrepreneurship are proven to still be the best way people around the world can progress forwards.
A handful of greedy people (mainly within banks) have fundamentally created the financial mess that we are in. But what people have got to be careful of (and I’m not biased!) is not dismissing every single entrepreneur out there – the restaurant owners, the street vendors, the start-ups, even the airline owners, because of the actions of the unscrupulous few.
It is through the capitalist system that people get paid, hospitals get built, innovative ideas become reality and young people get educated. Yet the way some of the press and some politicians talk, there is a danger of a complete dismissal of capitalism and a complete swing in the other direction.
Luke Johnson, a brilliant entrepreneur who also happens to be a great writer and thinker, wrote on this subject in the Financial Times recently, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.
He said: “Possibly, capitalism is poor at promoting the cause and explaining its merits.
“No doubt most highly successful entrepreneurs are tough individuals. Some break the rules, but damning an entire class for the high-profile errors of the few is destructive and ill-judged.”
It is becoming fashionable now to try to knock entrepreneurs, the very people who are going to create the jobs of the future. Just being an entrepreneur, making a difference to other people’s lives is a tremendous thing to do, but on top of that, ideally each company should become a force for good, as I explained in my recent book. Let’s continue to screw business as usual.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group
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