Breakfast features a founder of conscious capitalism

By NATE DOUGHERTY - 5/8/2014

Conscious capitalism has come to Rochester.

On Thursday, the Greater Rochester Conscious Capitalism Chapter played host to a breakfast at Irondequoit Country Club that featured a founding member of the movement, Raj Sisodia.

 Conscious capitalism is the belief that companies can enhance their performance while simultaneously advancing quality of life for people they serve.

Sisodia is a professor at Babson College in Massachusetts and co-author of the book “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.” He said a growing number of companies have taken this approach, which states that a company must be about more than just making money.

“We as human beings need white blood cells to survive, but that doesn’t mean our purpose in life is to create white blood cells,” Sisodia said. “It is the same for companies. They can’t exist solely to make profits.”

This approach calls for companies to engage all stakeholders, from customers to board members to shareholders, Sisodia said.

“They can’t just ignore one group or see them as a means to an end,” he said.

Sisodia said he hopes the conference will introduce the idea to new audiences and allow conscious capitalism to spread further in the Rochester area. The conference also included local business leaders discussing the idea, including Jack DePeters, senior vice president for store operations at Wegmans Food Market Inc.

“We need to shift people’s consciousness and provide evidence that this works and can lead to long-term success rather than just adding a burden,” Sisodia said.

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