Creative Capitalism (2008)
In January 2008, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bill Gates delivered a speech in which he argued that many of the world's problems are too big for philanthropy – even on the scale of his own Gates Foundation. Gates proposed that the free-market capitalist system itself would have to solve them through ‘creative capitalism’. This book engages with, debates and criticizes Gates’ idea. It is written by more than 40 contributors including 3 Nobel laureates, 2 former US cabinet secretaries and leading economists, businesspeople and development workers. Many of the contributions were originally posted on a blog over the summer of 2008. That blog is still live and provides a fascinating overview of this important debate, which essentially asks whether the role of business should be confined to maximising profit for shareholders, or whether business people can, and should, play a larger role in global affairs. The current financial crisis may appear to have overtaken this debate, as business is now focused on surviving, rather than saving the world, but the issues raised in this book have an enduring relevance and are worth taking the time to comprehend.