The current business paradigm can be summed up in its four flawed principles:
- The business of business is business
- A business exists to maximize value for its shareholders
- Short-term profits are maximized even at the expense of a company’s long-term financial health
- Compliance can be equated with business ethics
Current paradigm: the business of business is business
Business being the most pragmatic of all social organizational forms, it historically has focused
narrowly on its economic activity without being distracted by the demands of political affiliations,
societal and communal needs, environmental concerns, individual aspirations or civic pursuits,
except for those which have been legislated or decreed by regulatory agencies, or the occasional
token donation to a cultural charity such as the opera.
The principle that “the business of business is business” is derived from the belief that a business
can best serve its societal purpose by focusing on doing what it does best—the efficient production
and distribution of goods and services.
Current paradigm: a business exists to maximize value for its shareholders
"The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits," said Milton Friedman (The New York Times
Magazine, 13 September 1970). “So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within
the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for
their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no they do not.”
Focusing on maximizing short-term profit allows an unambiguous bottom-line measurement of, and
reward for, the company’s and business executives’ success on a quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year basis.
The singular and seemingly objective measurement of profits creates a common language and
benchmark for company analyses and makes it possible to communicate a “snapshot” of the
monetary financial health of companies to the investing public.
This provides a significant tool, although by no means the only tool, to create a stock market that
provides valuation, liquidity, investment opportunities and wealth creation for participants in
the economy. And, in fact, rising short term quarterly profits will actually consistently raise the
market capitalization of a given business, which in turn leads to a greater value of the shares held by shareholders.
This is the linkage that is often relied upon in using the term “maximizing shareholder value.”
There are other methods used to maximize shareholder value (e.g., layoffs to reduce payroll,
splitting companies up so that shares will achieve a higher multiple separated than they enjoy when
combined—such as Abbott Laboratories’ decision to split in two), but each of these has the same
intended result: yield higher quarterly profits and achieve a higher price earnings ratio on those quarterly profits.
Even if one accepts the questionable assumption that the stock market is a good arbiter of a
company’s value—by looking primarily at its quarter to quarter earnings—to accept Milton
Friedman’s dictum, one would need to make the further logical leap that only by taking care of
“business” are executives adhering to the basic purpose of the corporate entity (i.e., maximizing
shareholder value in the abstract, detached from the broader societal framework within which the corporation exists).
It is quite clear to the present authors that Milton Friedman’s dictum is operating as the current
business paradigm. Although it lacks depth, contextual relevance, and historical perspective, the
vast majority of business executives and most of Wall Street (excluding the large, growing, and more
profitable funds that operate in the socially responsible investment arena) actually believe the
mantra that business exists to maximize shareholder value. For better or worse, it is the current paradigm.
Current paradigm: short-term profits are maximized even at the expense of a company’s long-term financial health.
Many institutional stockholders erroneously focus on short-term stock price performance and exert
significant pressure on management to increase short-term profits at the cost of long-term financial
health. Focusing on quarterly financial reporting requirements, many companies have adopted an
orientation of maximizing short-term financial performance instead of seeking long-term growth
and sustainable earnings. This puts a company’s future at risk. Financially, short-termism is a system wide
problem, co-created by corporate managers, boards, investment bankers, institutional investors, and government.
For a corporation to conduct itself so as to maximize short-term
profits and in the process destroy itself, as Enron and many others
have done, definitely is not the way to maximize shareholder
value. Every farmer knows that you can vastly improve this year’s grain sales if you
sell your seed corn, but that means you won’t even be in the business of growing corn the next season.
The best way to ensure long-term growth in profits is to maintain a maximally effective balance
between all the corporate stakeholders such that today’s short-term profits reflected in the snapshot
financials are based on underlying relationships that will permit profits and net assets to continue to
grow over time for the benefits of all stakeholders. Current paradigm: equating compliance with business ethics
The ethical foundation of the current economic and business system is based on the limited view that
ethical obligations arise out of social mandates as expressed by current laws and regulations. Because
the human mind is so ingenious, corporations have never failed to find legal loopholes to game any
system; they therefore can commit legal actions that are unjust to employees and
damaging to the society and environment. And, all too often, corporate executives actually take illegal
actions in the expectation they will “get away with it,” which all too often they do. As new social issues
and new technologies arise, they are usually ahead of what legislators can understand and resolve
through appropriate legislation.
A good example of this phenomenon is the AIG financial products called credit default swaps, which
were too complicated for most to understand and remained unregulated even as they were identified
as the major contributor to the recent collapse of the U.S. financial system.
A better system of ethics, meaning a system more productive and therefore more conducive to making
profits, is one based on what one believes one “ought” to do based on one's heightened sense of a moral compass.
The question for corporate executives is not, “What can we get away with?” The question must be, “Given our
power in society, what ought we to do to solve these enormous challenges consistent with our ongoing
requirement to accumulate appropriate levels of surplus called ‘profits’ as we do it?” Failing to do
what we ought to do, whether or not it is required by a statute or government regulation, should be
seen as an ethical failure; such a failure by any company is a predictor that its profits ultimately will decline.
The only social aspects that the current system can
value, capture and measure are those that can be
immediately quantified in transitory monetary terms
(i.e., reflected as positive on the quarter-to-quarter
profit statement). Businesses, being the most
dynamic and powerful economic engines, must also
be evaluated in their contributions to the societies
and communities in which they operate. There
simply is no choice but to look at the bigger picture
since failure to do so would be like rearranging deck
chairs on the Titanic rather than addressing the crisis
that is at hand.
The current system in the Western industrialized
societies can measure economic contributions, but
fails miserably in accounting for the damage and
cost to society of the so-called “externalities” that are
ignored when profits are made by destroying the
public commons without taking into account the
cost to society of that destruction in computing the
true “profit” earned.
All such externalities must be costed out so that
they can be taken into consideration when making
economic decisions. A great example where society
did this recently on an international level was the
adoption of standards governing acid rain.
Fortunately, the acid created by one oil company’s
refineries in one country fell on that company’s and
other companies’ refineries in other countries,
thereby demonstrating the essential truth that a
“cost” is a “cost” even if you can escape, for the time
being, having to pay it.
We are not far from realizing in the business
community, as has already been almost universally
acknowledged in the scientific community, that the
“costs” of climate change will extract a devastating
price from all sectors of society, including business.
Once the business community realizes this, and
accepts forever more that “there is no free lunch,” it
will begin to lead the reconstruction of the environment.
Fortunately, the companies who understand the
symbiosis that occurs when they work with natural
systems rather than ignoring or fighting them will
be the companies that will profit most from the
looming environmental disasters.
It is also time for the business community to realize
that a loss of moral bearing, fed by insatiable greed,
can lead to highly dangerous business conditions.
For example, when business leaders lose their moral
bearing, this system provides an ideal vehicle for
creating personal wealth through highly
inappropriate means: (1) pressuring the board for
outsized stock grants, (2) manipulating accounting
results, (3) manipulating stock option dates and the
company stock price, and (4) taking incalculable or
disproportionate risks. All these executive
manipulations are often disguised as actions
necessary to maximize shareholder value.
Executives hire expensive corporate lawyers to
advise them so they can play on the edge of
accounting rules and SEC regulations. While playing
on the slippery slope of legal gamesmanship, many
executives did slip downward into outright frauds,
resulting in serious damages to company reputation,
stock price collapse, and often bankruptcy of the
company and jail time for the executives.
Billions and billions of value evaporated overnight,
thousands of jobs were lost, and the value of
pensions earned over hard-working years was wiped
out without a trace. And in the process, through the
stock market’s crash, much of the paper wealth that
those same executives were creating was wiped out
—along with the savings of the butcher, the baker
and the candlestick maker.
Consequence of current paradigm: reckless short-term pursuit of profits for shareholders at the expense of all other stakeholders
The continuing narrowing of business perspective
over the last half century cumulated in the singleminded
pursuit of profit maximization by
corporations, often at the expense of all other
stakeholders, which include employees, suppliers,
the community, and protection of the public
Compounding this problem is the relentless
pressure by the investment community for shortterm,
quarter-to-quarter returns, driving many
companies to focus on short-term financial results
instead of building long-term market position and
value for all stakeholders. Adding to all these factors
is the belief that business can legitimately equate
legal compliance with business ethics. The
combination of these factors underlies many of the
problems of the business world today.
Such problems unfold in many different ways. On
the more obvious level, unsafe products for
customers, legal exploitation of employees, harsh
tactics with suppliers, total disregard of community
interests, pollution of the environment, and
dangerous financial manipulations are only some of
the examples resulting from the relentless drive
toward profits for shareholders at the expense of
On a more disguised level, executive compensation tied to shareholder value
as reflected in the stock market actually provides a powerful incentive for
executives to maximize profits in the short term to maximize their own wealth.
Since profitable revenue growth is perceived to be the most powerful engine
for creating shareholder value and executive wealth,
many executives develop an insatiable appetite for
growth. Growth for the sake of growth is the
ideology of a cancer cell. So it is no surprise that
growth for the sake of growth has led to many
overpaid mergers and acquisitions, often justified by
unrealistic assumptions of financial or strategic synergies.
Failed mergers and acquisitions have been a top
destroyer of shareholder value. The prospect of
enormous wealth for top executives has often
induced them to take reckless risks that led to
company collapse—or even the collapse an entire
industry, like the financial industry in 2008.
More shareholder value has been destroyed in the
pursuit of profits in the name of shareholder value
maximization than for any other
reason. In fact, shareholder
maximization not only failed to
occur in the run-up to the Great
Recession from 2008 to 2009, but
shareholder value was destroyed
on a massive scale while societal
costs were created that will be
borne by the next several generations.
For a business to survive and
prosper, it must provide a return
to shareholders that is comparable to similar
companies in the market. Shareholder value is
created as the result of management providing
superior goods and services in the market it serves.
Creating shareholder value is neither the purpose of
a company’s existence, nor a company strategy.
Consequence of current paradigm: under-realization of the human potential
Lack of a larger purpose beyond profit maximization
naturally has resulted in a failure of understanding
of the humanistic aspect of business. You can trace
the origin of such a blind spot to the scientific
revolution that started in the 17th century and gave
birth to the Modern Era. Scientists introduced a
vigorous empirical method to investigate the
physical world. This scientific method allowed an
evidence-based search for knowledge of physical
phenomena that for the first time was free from the
church’s absolute decrees about nature. This great
accomplishment in human history propelled both
the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution in the
West followed by the Technological Revolution that
continues until the present.
Unfortunately, as science achieved its great heights
in its ability to understand the natural world and
increase the standard of living for humanity, it
began to confuse its methodology with claims to
truths in all areas of human endeavor. The belief that
empirical methods are the only means of knowing in all aspects
of human endeavor is sometimes called scientism.
An accompanying belief from scientism is that all human
experiences, including our subjective experiences of
thoughts and feelings, can be understood and reduced to
biochemical interactions in our body. The interest in
the study of psychology probing the inner depths of
the human psyche declined and gave way to
behavioral studies in which humans are assumed to
behave according to rewards or punishments,
pleasures or pain. In this view, our mind and
emotions are merely the results of the neuron
interactions in our brain. For centuries, science did
not place a great deal of value in first-person
subjective experiences. What science could not
objectively measure and quantify, it dismissed as non-existent.
Under such influence, business education in the U.S.
became science-envy. As part of the trend in
specialization, business education was separated
from moral philosophy and political economy and
new independent business schools were created to
pursue their own paths outside the larger
philosophical, ethical, political and social context
explored during a liberal arts education. Over the
years, business schools continued to narrow their
focus and become increasingly quantitative and
analytical instead of contextual and humanistic.
There are a number of severe consequences. First,
business ignores the rich interior of the individuals
working in corporations—their aspirations, the
power of their intention and vision, their need for a
community, their need to belong, and their search
for meaning and purpose in their work life.
The current business paradigm recognizes expertise
and experience, the need for economic rewards, and
the need for recognition of accomplishments and
creativity. It gives only limited recognition to
interior dimensions because they are difficult to
ascertain and therefore considered largely irrelevant.
Instead, business focuses on observable behaviors
and concerns itself only with results and outputs
that can be objectively measured and that relate
directly to revenue or cost.
As a result, it has taken a long time for business to
begin to recognize that each of us is a whole person
—body, emotions, mind, and spirit—and to
recognize how we desire to relate to others in a
deeper and more meaningful way. Business wants
us to bring body and mind to our jobs but does not
understand how our emotional and spiritual
yearning affects us in our work and personal life.
Only in the last decade, business started to wake up
to the role of emotional intelligence, after the
publication of the book bearing the same title by
Daniel Goleman. The fact that emotional
intelligence had been part of our normal human
capabilities for eons and that we had lived it with
family and friends, but it took someone to write
about it to get the attention of the business world is
quite revealing about how far our business culture
has fragmented our life and reduced our wholeness
in our work life.
At the same time, we’ve seen a culture arise in
Silicon Valley that has begun to highly value the
whole person, that asks how good employees and
colleagues feel about coming to work, how they can
be creatively stimulated, and how they can be
shown appreciation. The Silicon Valley companies
mos t famous for thi sculture, such as Google and
Apple, are the legends of our current business
landscape. This illustrates how the companies that
first recognize our inherent interconnection with the
natural world will be the most profitable in the
decades ahead, just as those companies that first
recognized the intrinsic wholeness of humans have
been far more successful in tapping into human creativity, with profits that show it.
Spirituality is the sense of inner stirrings, the search
for a deeper self-knowledge, the quest for meaning
as a result of becoming part of something bigger
than the self, and an opening to the infinite. The
longing is often expressed in the care for our fellow
human beings, communities, and the environment,
as well as in some forms of transcendental divinity.
Under the current paradigm, individual spirituality
and values are considered distracting and
undesirable in the workplace. And yet such
spirituality has the biggest untapped potential for
motivation and inspiration in the workplace that
business has yet to understand. Business has not
grasped the full potential for intentionality, passion,
ingenuity, and creativity in its employees.
hard working and moral individuals. But when they
enter into business, they seemingly enter into a
game with its unique, unhealthy paradigm, value
sets, mantras, cultural mores, and idiosyncratic rules.
We play by the rules and we play to win.
Unfortunately, in playing to win, other far more
important value sets are discarded or ignored. That
blindness, or lack of a sense of stewardship for what
we are entrusted with, can become a set of blinders
that causes great environmental and human
damage that ultimately also compromises profits
and real, long-term shareholder value.
It is long past time for business as an institution and
individual business people to see the incredible
opportunity that exists for rich human relationships
in the workplace at every level of the hierarchy, and
the potential each individual has to enhance their
contribution to their fellow humans and to the
Consequence of current paradigm: loss of trust
As a result of the current business paradigm, over
the years there has been a steady decline in the
public trust of corporations. In a 2009 survey, when
respondents in the U.S. were asked about trust in
business in general, only 38% said they have faith in
business to do what is right, a 20% plunge since the
year before. Moreover, only 17% of the respondents
in 2009 said they trust information from a company’s
CEO. Both the 17% and the 38% numbers represent
lower levels of trust than those measured in the
wakes of Enron, the dot-com bust, and Sept.11, 2001.
Unfortunately, if the same survey were taken today it
would likely reveal an even lower level of trust as a
result of the public’s perception that business takes
care of itself and does so at the expense of other
sectors of society. There could be no greater
testament to this complete lack of trust in business
than the growing Occupy Wall Street movement
which continues to grow and expand to cities
around the U.S. and throughout the world.
This decline in trust also is playing out in people’s
everyday lives. More than three-fourths (77%) of
survey respondents in 2009 said they refuse to buy
products or services from a company they distrust,
and 72% said they have badmouthed a distrusted
company to a friend or colleague.
It has been a couple of catastrophic years for
business, well beyond the evident destruction in
shareholder value and the need for emergency
government funding during the financial meltdown
in 2008 and subsequent recession.
The financial sector drives instead of supports
the real economy—the tail is wagging the dog.
Our financial system is supposed to support the real
economy of goods and services. However in the last
30 years, the unhealthy situation has developed that
the real economy has suffered from excesses in the
financial sector. These include disproportionate risks
in leverage; the creation and worldwide distribution
of huge amount of unregulated derivatives which
were little more than gambling chips; the use of
public-subsidized, low-cost credit for high-risk
proprietary trading; and fraudulent underwriting
of mortgage loans.
Such excesses cumulated in the financial meltdown in 2008 and the
subsequent recession of a depth unseen since the Great Depression.
Enormous wealth was transferred from the real
economy to the financial sector. In 2007, the year
before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the
financial sector’s profits accounted for an
astonishing 40% of the entire economy.
Yes, the tail is wagging the dog. How else to explain
that the “best and the brightest” in the financial
community continually fall for an earnings story that
derives from fatally flawed assumptions that end in
financial chaos and often financial panic?
None of the “best and the brightest” in the financial
community foresaw the near col lapse of the global
financial system in 2008 even though many of us outside
Wall Street did and warned our associates to abandon the financial markets
before the crash occurred.
What were we seeing that the brilliant,
extraordinarily over-compensated managers and
analysts on the Street missed? Simple, we were
looking at the fundamental instability and weakness
in the financial system that was built on a
securitization of paper that was tantamount to
printing currency on a printing press with no
thought of the value of the goods backing the
Watching the creation of $750 trillion in derivatives
when the entire global GNP of all countries on earth
was only $60 trillion per year was another indication
of a system wildly out of control in pursuit of inflated
profits built on worthless paper rather than on real
economic growth. The economic carnage that
followed was the quintessential opposite of
maximizing shareholder value, but pursuit of that
single-minded goal while wearing blinders is
precisely what created the debacle.
The history of the capital markets system over the
last 250 years has been characterized by boom and
bust cycles. There are many reasons for this, and
some such cycles even take names from their
perceived cause, such as an “Inventory Cycle.” Other
cycles are perceived to be precipitated by other
directly causative mechanisms but they all have one
thing in common: greed.
When someone gets greedy, they get carried away.
When a whole bunch of people get greedy, it leads
to marketplace excesses that ultimately cause a
“bust” which then needs to work itself through the
system until a new balance can be restored from
which renewed growth can occur. Those various
cycles normally occur with a somewhat predictable
periodicity as long as one has enough data and one
is able to isolate the other factors that might
simultaneously be at work.
Most modern economics departments at every
decent institution of higher learning study such
cycles, and a great body of knowledge has been
accumulated and published about them. Those
cycles, however, are not at the core of what is
currently ailing the global economy.
Something much more fundamental and destructive
is at work. Hence, when a television or newspaper
commentator blithely “reports” that “all recessions
end and this one too will end in time,” the reporter is
doing the public a great disservice. Even if the
reporter is oblivious, the business community
should itself become more aware of the
unprecedented situation we are facing today.
It is enlightened self-interest for the business
community to begin to realize two critical realities at
work simultaneously at this point in human history:
(1) business is the most powerful institution on the
planet and if it doesn’t ensure long term
sustainability of the economy and of human
civilization itself, human civilization will experience
the worst period of chaos and destruction in human
history; and (2) because business is the most
powerful institution on the planet, it not only singlehandedly
has the opportunity to alter the extremely
negative future pattern that is evolving, it has the
absolute responsibility to do so. The good news is
that by rising to the larger mission covered in this
article, the business community will in fact create a
period of economic prosperity that will dwarf all
other boom times.
Why is there any special urgency now for sustainable thinking?
The high probability of climate change having
already passed the tipping point ensures a spiraling
cycle of devastating environmental phenomena,
including droughts punctuated by floods,
decreasing food supplies, devastating storms with
greater intensity and frequency (especially
tornadoes), and a massive shortfall of adequate
potable water supplies at the highest elevations (i.e.,
all glaciers on earth, particularly the Himalayan High
Plateau which feeds the great rivers of China and
India) as well as in ground water reserves globally.
On both counts human civilization is out of time.
That in turn means that corporate profits are in for a
prolonged diminution over many, many years. The
only way to ensure sustainable shareholder value
increases is to address both threats and resolve
them. Only business as an institution has the
resources and training to do so. There is no other
What is the larger purpose of business?
It is to recognize that every human being on the
planet has the right to have eight essential needs
met: (1) adequate water, (2) adequate food, (3)
adequate medical care, (4) adequate shelter, (5)
adequate education without regard to gender, (6)
adequate clothing, (7) air suitable for humans to
breathe, and (8) a society free from violence, rape,
torture, and war.
Some believe that achieving these goals is not
possible. They are wrong. In fact, with business
setting these goals for itself, business as an
institution will unleash more wealth per capita by
many magnitudes over every era that has preceded
this one in history. In a word, creating these
solutions will ensure sustainable business profits
earned in totally appropriate ways.
The delightful thing about all of this is that ensuring
these freedoms for all humans not only will ennoble
all of those who labor to achieve these goals, but will
also create undreamed of profits for generations to
come indefinitely into the future. This is because, as
noted above, greed begets ever larger and more
destructive cycles of boom and bust. Actually acting
sustainably toward all corporate stakeholders
creates the opposite—a permanent wave of
prosperity based upon abundance thinking
rather than scarcity consciousness.
At a time when business profits are moving along at all time highs in several
industries, and the S&P 500 are churning out
high profits as a group, the stock market has
been extremely volatile and producing lackluster returns for investors.
Because business is the most powerful institution on the
planet, it has the opportunity and responsibility to alter
the extremely negative future pattern that is evolving.
The stock market today is beginning to reflect what
the market sees as dysfunctional and what profits
will be one and two years or more into the future.
Why? Because the profits of all companies in the
western democracies are in jeopardy as their middle
classes are devastated and as their political
institutions prove they are incapable of dealing with
normal everyday challenges, let alone the
challenges posed by climate change and our financial system.
How business can create the Second Renaissance
—the Eight Human Rights and a healthy planet
A change in the way business perceives its role in
society matched with a mentality for sustainability
will yield the greatest economic opportunity in
human history. Think about it. If you were a
Florentine living in the early 1700’s, you had an
opportunity to realize the extraordinary wealth that
was about to be created as a result of the end of the
Dark Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.
Stop and reflect for a moment on the shear brutish nature of life in
the Dark Ages, and the flowering that occurred as the Renaissance
began, bringing an explosion of wealth initially amongst the
merchant classes and ultimately among western society as a whole.
The wealth that was created resulted from a change in
mentality. It resulted from a collective change of mind. It all started with a single
book: On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres, by
Copernicus. He observed, despite being forced to
recant while secretly arranging a posthumous
publication of his book, that the earth is not at the center of the universe.
From that humble beginning, humans began to question.
In less than 150 years from the publication of
Copernicus’ mind-changing book, human society
saw: the beginnings of the scientific method which
began to explain how the physical world really
worked and which began to take the place of myth,
legend, superstition, and “blind faith”; the Protestant
Reformation that cracked the centralized control of
the Catholic Church right down the middle and
ended its dominance as the unchallenged organizer
and controller of western civilization; the beginnings
of the first European university at Bologna, Italy; the
flowering of global commerce; the explosion of the
arts; and, the beginning of the Renaissance. All that
happened within 150 years from a global mind change brought on by one book.
A similar global mind change awaits us. In the
Second Renaissance, we value the subjective
experience of every human being and return the human to
the center of our world, but in harmony with the planet and all
its other living inhabitants. Reconstructing the planet and
providing the Eight Human Rights will create an explosion of
wealth like the one when the Dark Ages gave way to the
Renaissance. Only, this time, the explosion in wealth will be many times greater.
Believing as we do in the next Renaissance, which will be
characterized by providing the Eight Human Rights
and global reconstruction of natural systems, it is a
time of great optimism. We can do it. In fact, we
have no other choice. The Two Global Drivers—
climate change and our unhealthy financial system
which still has a vast pool of unregulated financial
derivatives—must be addressed without further
delay as each day of delay will yield a cost far greater
than humans would be willing to pay if they
understood the reality.
Can the Two Global Drivers ultimately be defeated?
Yes, if we begin at once. We are capable of it,
although we are doing nothing at the moment to
address them. In fact, our fossil fuel-based planetary
energy system is literally adding fuel to the fire every
day in the form of increased CO2 and methane emissions.
At the same time, we are optimistic that human
society can, and must, confront these challenges.
And, being people of science and commerce, we
believe that no challenge exists on planet earth that
cannot be solved with the existing technology and
resources at our disposal. All that is missing is the
collective will to do so.
It is our hope that the business community will face
these enormous challenges, perceive its enormous
power to alter the outcome, become aware of the
profits which will be lost and the far greater ones
that will be gained by providing the will and “can do”
attitude to tackle our human dilemmas. To do less
would be beneath us as a species. To do less would
be profoundly unsustainable as an economic
Sam Yau, Chairman of the Board of the Esalen Institute, is a recognized business leader and
strategist known for delivering rapid value creation for companies that need strategic
repositioning for growth or significant turnaround in a challenging time. His
diversified career has spanned many industries, including semiconductor, specialty retailing,
computer hardware and software, medical management and for-profit education. Sam
currently serves as a director on the boards of SRS Labs and Multi-Fineline Electronix. He is a
director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Irvine,
and the past Chairman of the Forum for Corporate Directors in Orange County. He has
a Bachelor of Social Sciences Degree in Economics from the University of Hong Kong
and Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
Rinaldo Brutoco is a well-known futurist and the Founding President of the World Business
Academy, a nonprofit think tank launched in 1986 with the mission to educate and inspire
the business community to take responsibility for the whole of planetary society. He is a
frequent public speaker and a prolific author on renewable energy,climate change, and
sustainable business strategies. He is the coauthor of
Freedom from Mid-East Oil (2007), a leading book on energy and climate change,
Profiles in Power (1997), a college textbook on nuclear power and the dawn of the solar age.