- Business Insider has named 10 people working for “better capitalism” to its list of 100 people transforming business.
- They include a Wall Street titan, a labor rights activist, and a presidential candidate.
- See the full list of the 100 people transforming business here.
Due to a confluence of forces — the legacy of the financial crisis, millennials taking over the workforce, and an increasingly polarized society — there is a widespread and urgent call to reexamine capitalism as it is practiced today.
We picked 10 leaders who are fighting for ways to improve the economy, finance, and the workplace for the benefit of all Americans, and whose ideas will inevitably have implications beyond the United States. It’s a disparate group with different world views, but they’re all driven by a desire to reform our system into what we call “better capitalism.”
Read on to see the full list of 10 people transforming how we think about capitalism.
Tarana Burke, the founder of the Me Too Movement, has inspired workplaces across America to improve their culture and operations
Tarana Burke is the activist who coined the term “me too” in 2006 as an empowering response to sexual harassment and assault, and she’s recently established the Me Too Movement as a nonprofit that can carry on her work.
She wants it made clear that this mission is not tied to the social media trend that resulted in the ouster of prominent executives and media personalities, starting with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017.
“I think right now one of the most important things is that people need to understand that the Me Too Movement is not about naming and shaming,” Burke told Business Insider. “We should be thinking about how we shift culture, how we change systems, and shift to things that will prevent sexual violence from happening.” She wants to see more of a focus on victims, rather than perpetrators, as well.
#MeToo is also about ensuring a comfortable environment for all employees in the workplace, free from harassment. Burke said that conversations around changing culture can be uncomfortable, but shouldn’t make workplaces more tense— that’s not the point. The way to do that, she said, is to ensure that discussions around what’s appropriate in the workplace “aren’t closed-door conversations.” She adds: “They have to be very open and transparent.”
Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, is demanding that CEOs create long-term value led by purpose
Larry Fink‘s words matter.
The CEO of BlackRock— the world’s largest asset manager, with $6.4 trillion in assets under management — caused a stir when his 2018 annual letter to top execs said, “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” He followed that by announcing BlackRock would only do business with such companies. This year’s letter doubled down on that promise.
He wrote to CEOs: “The world depends on you to embrace and advocate for a long-term approach in business. At a time of great political and economic disruption, your leadership is indispensable.”
There’s a movement now that believes it’s time to find alternatives to the short-termism that’s reigned for decades, and Fink is not just its biggest advocate — he’s become one of the leading voices for what those alternatives could look like.
Diane Gherson, a senior vice president of human resources at IBM, is addressing the ‘skills gap’
Since taking the role in 2013, Gherson has overseen IBM’s own transformation, using the very tools that will eliminate jobs to help employees find new roles within the company.
For example, the AI-powered Blue Matching program ensures that workers whose roles are eliminated — or who simply want new opportunities — have a chance to learn needed skills for a continuing presence at IBM. Meanwhile, the CogniPay system uses AI to generate salaries.
The shift to a skills-based company, rather than one based solely on résumés and head count, allows for a larger talent pool. If a role is eliminated, those employees don’t necessarily need to be laid off. Plus, not all job applicants need four-year degrees.
“What are we going to do? Leave all these people behind?” she told Business Insider. “That’s our talent base. So we’ve got to find ways of making them ready for the workforce, and the fact that they don’t have a degree is not the end of the world, but they do need to get on a path to getting good jobs.”
Jay Coen Gilbert, a cofounder of B Lab, is looking to move the world beyond shareholder primacy
In late 2001, Jay Coen Gilbert had an emotionally trying series of weeks, including his sister surviving the 9/11 attacks. The experiences made him realize he wanted to do something more than just build companies.
After selling an apparel company that he helped build, Coen Gilbert set to work starting B Lab in 2005 as a way to counteract what he saw as the toxic effects of shareholder…