The mission of the Common Good Capitalism Movement (CGCM) is to spark a movement that shifts the current state of capitalism into Common Good Capitalism. Common Good Capitalism is when, in a free market economy, individuals and organizations freely choose to prioritize the common good of all over profit. The problem is that the current state of capitalism takes on a ‘profit-over-anything,’ or 'shareholder-return' mentality, where monetary gains are the top priority, regardless of any harmful effects that the pursuit of these gains may have. Taking this mentality creates adverse conditions for individual people, for communities, for nations and for the environment. This is why there is a need for a movement in the private sector to revision and redefine capitalism in its current state.
The Common Good Capitalism Movement was formed at UMass Amherst during a business class on Social Entrepreneurship. Sustainable business pioneer and the visionary of the CGCM, Terry Mollner, came in to have a discussion on his experience in the socially responsible business world.
Terry has been focused on practicing and communicating capitalism in a way that benefits the common good of all for over 30 years. From his days founding the Calvert Foundation’s Family of Socially Responsible Investment Funds, to sitting on the Board of Director’s at Ben & Jerry’s, to his position of Chairman of the Board of the socially responsible asset management firm, Stakeholder’s Capital, Terry has a deep passion and commitment to creating and perpetuating Common Good Capitalism.
After discussing his experience, Terry outlined his vision for a shift to a more mature form of capitalism, or “Common Good Capitalism,” and the dire need for it. He made a point that stuck with the entire group: “When two people come together, they have two choices. They can compete with each other so that one may flourish and the other perishes, or, they can cooperate so that they both flourish.”
Terry pointed out that the outcome should be obvious. Anyone who practices “moral behavior” would agree that cooperating would create conditions that benefit both parties—and the common good of all.
This is how we look at Common Good Capitalism. By prioritizing the common good of all, organizations have the ability to create a better world for the society around them, rather than creating adverse conditions for it. We see that organizations that prioritize the common good can actually achieve greater success as an organization, because they will be loved by all stakeholders for their devotion to a better society.
Terry Mollner Describes CGCM's Vision
To grow this movement, CGCM will search for organizations that already practice common good capitalism, but who are not widely recognized for it, and reach out to nominate them to join the movement.
The amazing organizations we seek out are the lifeblood of this movement. They inspire and embody common good capitalism, and are the reason this movement was created.
We want to be the catalyst that brings to light all the goodness that exists in these organizations. By bringing these wonderful organizations to the public eye, we are confident that we will spark a global movement.
Once the public recognizes the importance of this paradigm shift to a common good capitalism, they have the power to influence the large multinational organizations through their consuming habits. We want the public to see an organization’s CGCM membership as a purchasing decision.
For example, if two restaurants compete, and they offer comparable prices and quality, we want the next piece of criteria to be, “Are they Common Good Capitalism members?”
We see with similar organizations like 1% for the Planet, and B Lab (the nonprofit behind Certified B Corporations), that when organizations become part of them, consumers take note. If a consumer has two options in a grocery store that are essentially identical in price and quality, the one option that has a “1% for the Planet” seal will be the choice.
We aim to be the criteria that a consumer considers when making any decision.
In this way, consumers can pressure organizations that embody the antiquated, ‘profit-over-anything’ mentality into changing their ways—in fear that they will lose business if they do not evolve.
This is how we can create a global movement. In turn, all organizations will need to prove their commitment to the common good to survive in the marketplace.
Dhana Inc. was one of the first organizations that we at the CGCM asked to join us. They are an amazing earth-conscious fashion organization that was born from the recognition of the eco-friendly lifestyle becoming a global norm, and from people desiring to connect and explore solutions to global issues.
We at CGCM love what Dhana does. Here is one quote that was particularly inspiring.
“If we … [can] be conscious of the impact of [the clothing] we use on a daily basis, our clothes [can] … connect us to people and the planet. Our clothes can encourage us to be aware of all the ways that we are connected. [Founder Shamini Dhana] wanted a brand to bring this consciousness to our youth and empower them to celebrate our global connections.”
We love that they are devoted to this mission of offering youth a connection to people and planet through their clothes.
We also love how they embrace the styles of various world cultures through their brand, and work with a number of global artists to create this whole style of fashion, all while using organic elements.
We love what they do, and how they’re doing it. We were compelled to invite them to become Common Good Certified. We could not be more excited that they have joined us!
Please Join Us!
To make it all happen, we are asking all like-minded people to join CGCM. We know that organizations that operate for the common good will be full of like-minded people, who already choose to prioritize the common good of all.
We know that the people we meet and connect with will spread this movement, and help steer capitalism in the right direction.
So please join CGCM by visiting our website.
Here, you can become a member of our movement. Once you join, we want you to be a big part of the action.
You can nominate organizations that you believe deserve to be recognized as a Common Good Capitalism organization, and earn points for it. You can also vote for previously nominated organizations to help persuade organizations to become members.
We want like-minded people to be a huge part of this, so individuals can even ask public questions to the organizations who join. We will connect with and pursue worthy nominations, so everyone who is interested can actually participate in the future of this movement.
We hope that you’ll join us!