The year is 1710, and the Industrial Revolution is taking off in the West, creating the world's first middle class, and giving rise to prosperous colonial outposts on the American frontier. But the colonies' new-found wealth has its critics. Cotton Mather, a Puritan minister at Harvard University, laments that "Religion brought forth prosperity, and the daughter destroyed the mother." Puritanism's offshoots – the Protestant work ethic, and arguably, the prosperity gospel – still drive the biggest engine of material wealth the world has ever seen, and Harvard types are still suspicious of its fruit. Joseph Schumpeter, the Austrian economist behind the term "creative destruction," predicted that intellectuals – who don't labor or trade to earn their income – would undermine the capitalist system and shackle the entrepreneur. Michael Strong – an intellectual and an entrepreneur, as well as critic and champion of the market – is an exception. Strong has founded multiple innovative charter schools based on Montessori, Socratic and entrepreneurial principles, written books on education and entrepreneurship, and co-founded Conscious Capitalism, Inc., with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey to promote entrepreneurial solutions to world problems. Voices like Strong's are especially important as the West loses faith in the very ideas that brought about its prosperity – just when these ideas are needed most in the developing world. Michael joins guest hosts Charlie Deist (producer of The Bob Zadek Show) and Joe Quirk (President of The Seasteading Institute) to distinguish between valid critiques of historical capitalism and dogmatic repression of the entrepreneurial spirit. Strong will also propose his biggest idea yet for unleashing human potential – the startup city.
- Startup Cities Institute [Website]
- Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World's Problems [Amazon]
- Let a Thousand Nations Bloom [Blog]
- Conscious Capitalism, Inc. [Website]
- Conscious Capitalism Bay Area Chapter