Excerpt from World Inc.
Social Response Capitalism
I first began thinking about Social Response capitalism on a boat ride from Manhattan to Albany sponsored by New York Governor Mario Cuomo in the late 1980s. My firm had sold two years of counseling to the Governor for his New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). As part of this gig, the Governor and his brilliant deputy Stan Lundine organized a fifty-person boat ride dubbed "New York 2000." During this "thought experiment" up the Hudson, the fifty of us debated the legitimate role of the government in securing a better New York.
I was there as a sort of environmental expert — my first two books in the 1980s had helped reshape federal laws around hazardous waste management. Most of the folks on the boat were lawyers, executives, or bankers, although there were a few Indian chiefs as well. As we were passing the citadels of the military academy in the mid-Hudson, the governor asked us for our working definitions of altruism. You could tell that he wanted us to reflect on if the government should play more of a role in the military security of the nation, so you knew you needed to reflect on Altruism with a big "A." After several stirring inquiries and attempts at defining why people/leaders go beyond the call of duty, David Sive, a Park Avenue attorney and cofounder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told a story I will never forget....
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