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January 01, 2008

Talking Social Enterprise with Professor Ray Horton

Jill Stoddard
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Adam Smith wrote that there are three things that could derail
capitalism,” said Professor Ray Horton one recent Friday morning.

“First, labor productivity, the source of all value to Smith, could max out; second, the state could intervene too much; and third, capitalists could eat up the natural resources upon which production rests.”

Horton, who is head of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia, thinks Smith’s third factor is the reason that interest in social enterprise is spreading. The past decade alone saw a tenfold increase in interest.

“There is a growing awareness in the business community — and among business school students in particular — that we can’t continue to behave as we have in the past without destroying the environment,” said Horton.

“Most students still place a lot of value on making money, but they have a much more pluralistic sense of value than they did even a decade ago.”

Comments

by Michael | January 21, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Terrific to see so much focus on social enterprise at a business school in addition to the standard focus on finance, economics and profitable enterprise.

by Jay | November 08, 2008 at 10:26 PM

Embracing social enterprise as the next phase of business revolution is what places Columbia ahead of the rest. Dr. Horton's aim to spread awareness of the necessity for sustainability is undoubtedly inspiring.

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