x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Too little too late?

Industrial capitalism is outmoded and out of touch, writes the economic strategist Umair Haque. Nihilistic and moribund, it must be replaced by a dynamic, constructive model, based on global connectivity and the kind of "disruptive" forces that catalyse innovation.

The New Capitalist Manifesto
Umair Haque
Harvard Business Review
Dh100

Industrial capitalism is outmoded and out of touch, writes the economic strategist Umair Haque. Nihilistic and moribund, it must be replaced by a dynamic, constructive model, based on global connectivity and the kind of "disruptive" forces that catalyse innovation.

The author also believes that the future of commerce should be well-motivated and focused on long-term benefit. In some quarters, these moves are apparently already being made. Walmart has increased its commitments to sustainability and customer care. Nike makes better products and considers the environment. Both are doing very nicely, thank you.

Perhaps all this sounds familiar? Well, that's because Haque appears to be advocating a spruced up form of enlightened self-interest: the philosophy that individuals and corporations will "do well by doing good".

While obviously preferable to the short-termist greed that precipitated the global financial crisis, this position remains one of practical idealism, rooted in the expectation that monetary benefit will come to those who deign to think past their own bank balances. Given the havoc of recent years, one cannot help but think that a braver and even more radical approach will be required to balance the world's books.