Business Solves Social Problems

Professor Michael Porter

Professor Michael Porter

In a recent TED Talk, Michael Porter spoke on Why business can be good at solving social problems.

Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society’s biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he’s biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit — which lets that solution grow.

Michael Eugene Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School. He is a leading authority on marketing strategy and business competitive strategy. Michael Porter’s work is recognized globally in many academic fields of study, NGOs and government organizations. He chairs Harvard Business School’s program for newly appointed CEOs, and is a frequent speaker on strategic marketing and competitive strategy.

Bishop William Lawrence

Bishop William Lawrence

“In the long run it is only to the man of morality that wealth comes… We, like the Psalmists, occasionally see the wicked prosper, but only occasionally. Godliness is in league with riches.” – Bishop William Lawrence (1850–1941)

Bishop Lawrence was a Harvard graduate, and was most famous for founding the church pension system. He also raised funds for the chapel at Mass General Hospital, and other philanthropic ventures.

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