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Elevated Economics: How Conscious Consumers Will Fuel the Future of Business

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A vital leadership guide to understanding and engaging socially responsible consumers and investors Consumers and investors have innovated their game. Now you as a leader must innovate with them or face the consequences.  In this engaging and persuasive guide to the new world of conscious capitalism, entrepreneur and investor Richard Steel details the inevitability of the co A vital leadership guide to understanding and engaging socially responsible consumers and investors Consumers and investors have innovated their game. Now you as a leader must innovate with them or face the consequences.  In this engaging and persuasive guide to the new world of conscious capitalism, entrepreneur and investor Richard Steel details the inevitability of the coming changes in capitalism.  Our economy has become increasingly values-driven, and consumers have begun to care more about the principles of the companies from which they buy. With an eye toward the future of sustainability, Elevated Economics provides you with: * Crucial information on the rise of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practices. * Informative, firsthand interviews with Ivy League business school professors and CEOs of successful companies who actively follow the ESG model. * A framework for understanding trends in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Steel makes the case that ESG is more than a burgeoning trend, and as a leader, you must get on board or risk extinction.


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A vital leadership guide to understanding and engaging socially responsible consumers and investors Consumers and investors have innovated their game. Now you as a leader must innovate with them or face the consequences.  In this engaging and persuasive guide to the new world of conscious capitalism, entrepreneur and investor Richard Steel details the inevitability of the co A vital leadership guide to understanding and engaging socially responsible consumers and investors Consumers and investors have innovated their game. Now you as a leader must innovate with them or face the consequences.  In this engaging and persuasive guide to the new world of conscious capitalism, entrepreneur and investor Richard Steel details the inevitability of the coming changes in capitalism.  Our economy has become increasingly values-driven, and consumers have begun to care more about the principles of the companies from which they buy. With an eye toward the future of sustainability, Elevated Economics provides you with: * Crucial information on the rise of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practices. * Informative, firsthand interviews with Ivy League business school professors and CEOs of successful companies who actively follow the ESG model. * A framework for understanding trends in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Steel makes the case that ESG is more than a burgeoning trend, and as a leader, you must get on board or risk extinction.

53 review for Elevated Economics: How Conscious Consumers Will Fuel the Future of Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Venky

    On the 3rd of January 2020, two of the largest Private Equity funds, KKR and TPG, with a combined asset base of approximately $330bn between them, decided to report by April 2020, both the positive impacts as well as negative externalities, of their investments, on environmental, social and governance aspects. This announcement illustrates the growing popularity amongst investors to adhere to the tenets of Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”). SRI has transcended from being a mere exercise in On the 3rd of January 2020, two of the largest Private Equity funds, KKR and TPG, with a combined asset base of approximately $330bn between them, decided to report by April 2020, both the positive impacts as well as negative externalities, of their investments, on environmental, social and governance aspects. This announcement illustrates the growing popularity amongst investors to adhere to the tenets of Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”). SRI has transcended from being a mere exercise in lip service to a set of binding principles that determines the growth trajectory of many Multinational Enterprises. In tandem with the investor bent of mind, even corporates themselves are beginning to transform the way they operate. Shareholder activism is no longer the sole driver spurring a company along. Shareholder value has been replaced by stakeholder value where the latter encompasses within its ambit the Environment, Society and Governance (“ESG”). American entrepreneur, investor and former advisor to the White House Business Council in his forthcoming book, “Elevated Economics” illustrates these transformational trends ushered in by a shifting consumer mindset that demands ‘values’ over value and invests in a product more for what it stands rather than for what it does. The book is an outcome of extensive research and interviews conducted with CEOs and Ivy League Professors of business, marketing, and consumer behaviour. Hence the plethora of anecdotal emphasis that runs throughout the book. Mr. Steel defines Elevated Economics as “a coalescence of several complex factors. Changes in consumer employment, social, marketing, environmental, and corporate governance practices all contribute to this single term. Essentially the Elevated Economy represents what research and analysis seem to indicate will be the next great change in capitalism.” This change, Dr, Steel emphasizes, would be triggered, to a significant extant, by a humungous “Wealth Migration” where approximately $68.4 trillion would change hands over the course of the next couple of decades, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z and the Millennials. When it comes to customer preferences, the new owners of wealth surely know to put their money where the mouth is. They also demand accountability, responsibility and societal obligations. This is the very demand that made Nike abandon their whole ‘sweatshop’ initiative and remake themselves as a brand of responsibility. Not to be left behind, its fiercest competitor Adidas teaming up with “Parley for The Oceans”, are making sneakers out of plastic ocean waste. As Mr. Steel illustrates in his book many companies such as Method, Impossible Foods, Patagonia, TOMS shoes, and Birdies have taken the concept of ESG to hitherto unseen levels. In India, the business practices of the TATA Group of companies have birthed a paradigm shift in the very fundamental manner in which a Corporate Group goes about its activities. The “TATA way” thus stands for integrity, empowerment and aggrandizement. One classic illustration of the apotheosis that is the TATA way is the path-breaking labour welfare measures which were instituted within the Group even before the relevant statutes were incorporated. Some of them include an eight-hour working day, free medical aid, establishment of a welfare department, leave with pay, workers’ provident fund scheme, workmen’s accident compensation scheme, maternity benefits, profit sharing bonus and retiring gratuity. Maybe this is the direct result of TATA employees putting in decades with the company, ignoring much more lucrative competing offers. On the 19th of August 2019, some of the top CEOs in the US, jointly pledged to place stakeholder value over shareholder value in a remarkable show of societal obligation. Mr. Steel identifies four “Cornerstones” that might have a solid and significant influence on the changing Corporate Philosophy. Diversity and Inclusion (going beyond mere tokenism and compliance with hiring policies); Equality in Pay; Impact (ensuring that ESG activities impact the community as illustrated by Wells Fargo in its CSR initiatives); Bring The Market (instead of Go To Market); The impact of all this is a burgeoning growth in “ESG” assets. According to the US SIF Foundation’s “Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends”, Socially Responsible Investor assets are growing at nearly 40% year-over-year since 2016. In fact, more than $12 trillion are invested in a variety of socially responsible ways. While the book contains many interesting illustrations of companies consciously deciding to invest in CSR initiatives and the consumer loyalty towards such companies, the one segment where I have serious issues reconciling with Mr. Steel’s views and his own practice is his patronage towards Starbucks. Waxing eloquent over their matching 401(k) payments even for part time employees and The Starbucks Partner Achievement Program, Mr. Steel says he will not mind dishing out a premium to enjoy his Pike Place every morning. In a report damningly titled, “How Starbucks avoids UK Taxes”, Tom Bergin of Reuters illustrates that “Accounts filed by its UK subsidiary show that since it opened in the UK in 1998 the company has racked up over 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) in coffee sales, and opened 735 outlets but paid only 8.6 million pounds in income taxes, largely due because the taxman disallowed some deductions.” Over the past three years [since 2012], Starbucks has reported no profit, and paid no income tax, on sales of 1.2 billion pounds in the UK. McDonald’s, by comparison, had a tax bill of over 80 million pounds on 3.6 billion pounds of UK sales. Kentucky Fried Chicken, part of Yum Brands Inc., the no. 3 global restaurant or cafe chain by market capitalization, incurred taxes of 36 million pounds on 1.1 billion pounds in UK sales, according to the accounts of their UK units.” Katherine Campbell and Duane Helleloid of the University of North Dakota have published a full-length paper titled, “Starbucks: Social Responsibility and Tax Avoidance.” The European Commission has also initiated proceedings against the tactics initiated by Starbucks to avoid paying its rightful share of taxes, even though to the credit of the beverage giant the European Commission was unable to demonstrate the existence of an advantage bestowed by the Dutch Tax authorities in favour of Starbucks. Thus, this is the only part of the book that rankles me. Else “Elevated Economics” is a thought-provoking work that illustrates in telling detail the future vector of both buyer behaviour and Corporate Strategy. (Elevated Economics: How conscious consumers will fuel the future of business by Richard Steel is distributed by the Green Leaf Book Group and published by Fast Company Press, and and will be released on the 6th of October 2020.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cchs

    I found this book insightful, thoughtful, and accessible. Structured around real-word examples, the book lays out a convincing argument for an economy in which social return is given equal consideration as financial return. As Investors increasingly join consumers in demanding that companies make positive contributions to society, Steel articulates a compelling framework for business leaders, policy makers, and investors what want to thrive in a rapidly evolving economy. The book is well-research I found this book insightful, thoughtful, and accessible. Structured around real-word examples, the book lays out a convincing argument for an economy in which social return is given equal consideration as financial return. As Investors increasingly join consumers in demanding that companies make positive contributions to society, Steel articulates a compelling framework for business leaders, policy makers, and investors what want to thrive in a rapidly evolving economy. The book is well-researched and well-written. It is mercifully jargon-free and in cases where established terminology is necessary, the author defines and contextualizes those terms in a way that is neither presumptive nor condescending. Elevated Economics is a force multiplier for good and a toolkit for maintaining the relevance of capitalism. A must-read for anyone who wants to do business in the next decade and beyond.

  3. 5 out of 5

    James Readel

    Throughout history there are numerous examples of consumers changing buying behaviors, adapting to new products, corporate philosophies, government policies and structural changes to the economy. Mr. Steel‘s book Elevated Economics takes the discussion to a new level as he describes the evolution that is taking place in the modern business world and global economy. All business and leaders/educators need to be aware of the massive tidal shift that is currently underway. Regardless of whether you a Throughout history there are numerous examples of consumers changing buying behaviors, adapting to new products, corporate philosophies, government policies and structural changes to the economy. Mr. Steel‘s book Elevated Economics takes the discussion to a new level as he describes the evolution that is taking place in the modern business world and global economy. All business and leaders/educators need to be aware of the massive tidal shift that is currently underway. Regardless of whether you agree with Mr. Steel‘s conclusions, his presentation of data and supporting research will cause you to pause and ask yourself, “How do I make my purchasing and investing decisions and how are others making their’s”? These are complex questions and ones that all of us should spend some time pondering. Elevated Economics is a necessary read for any business leader attempting to see the future and set themselves up for success. Thought provoking for sure, outstanding effort

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jason Caldwell

    If you're looking for a book that gives a very convincing argument on ESG investing and its benefits to the investor, the world, and humanity, look no further than Elevated Economics. However, what I found to be the most compelling aspect of this book is the authors modesty. Too many times I find books written by subject matter experts to be self-aggrandizing and full of hubris. Mr. Steel offers a refreshing alternative to these books by keeping the focus not on himself, but on the facts, figure If you're looking for a book that gives a very convincing argument on ESG investing and its benefits to the investor, the world, and humanity, look no further than Elevated Economics. However, what I found to be the most compelling aspect of this book is the authors modesty. Too many times I find books written by subject matter experts to be self-aggrandizing and full of hubris. Mr. Steel offers a refreshing alternative to these books by keeping the focus not on himself, but on the facts, figures, and the thought leaders and business leaders he interviews. It's obvious Mr. Steel has accomplished a great deal, but when he purposefully shifts the spotlight to others, I found myself that much more engaged. This is a must read for those looking to leverage their current position by doing what's best for those around us.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carlo Palmieri

    Most repetitive book I have ever read. Just talks about ESG the whole book and doesn’t point out that most of the companies he lists only have high ESG scores because they’re massive companies with plenty of disposable cash. Also, he puts a lot of weight into Gen Z not changing from their ways. Most of them don’t have jobs so their parents are actually the ones buying the over prices environmentally friendly products. Although there inevitably will be some shift towards ESG this author says its Most repetitive book I have ever read. Just talks about ESG the whole book and doesn’t point out that most of the companies he lists only have high ESG scores because they’re massive companies with plenty of disposable cash. Also, he puts a lot of weight into Gen Z not changing from their ways. Most of them don’t have jobs so their parents are actually the ones buying the over prices environmentally friendly products. Although there inevitably will be some shift towards ESG this author says its the only thing that matters despite bringing up how FAANG is not ESG friendly and continues to out perform many of the ESG friendly companies. Overall, you can sum up this boom in 10 pages...he likes looking at ESG rating for companies and makes you read 200 pages of the same thing so you know that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ted Scofield

    Books on leadership tend to be dependably and predictably un-topical. That is, leadership is leadership; the basics rarely change. Today, however, leaders are facing structural shifts in consumer behavior that must be acknowledged, understood, and addressed. The game *has* changed, and Richard Steel's ELEVATED ECONOMICS is the first book that truly captures what is happening, with regard to issues like ESG, SRI and others, and how leaders should (and must) react. Steel interviews both thought le Books on leadership tend to be dependably and predictably un-topical. That is, leadership is leadership; the basics rarely change. Today, however, leaders are facing structural shifts in consumer behavior that must be acknowledged, understood, and addressed. The game *has* changed, and Richard Steel's ELEVATED ECONOMICS is the first book that truly captures what is happening, with regard to issues like ESG, SRI and others, and how leaders should (and must) react. Steel interviews both thought leaders & practice leaders from a variety of organizations, and his examples are spot-on. If you read one book on leadership this year, this should be the one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Deidre

    A great overview of the potential in ESG investing and how the triple bottom line is important to the consumer of tomorrow. The book uses plenty of case studies and statistics to show that the companies will need to pay attention to issues of sustainability, employee happiness, and positive action in order to keep customers and grow in the future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Richard Steel has written a playbook for navigating the new business paradigm that we all find ourselves immersed in. Our customers and candidates expect and deserve more. Elevated Economics lays out intentional and actionable steps backed by data to help us all best adapt to this fast changing landscape.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian O'Keefe

    Much appreciation for shedding light that the double bottom line is gone, and one can invest in ESG/SRI opportunities while keeping economics returns in mind. Excellent! The author does a fabulous job in framing ESG/SRI for generations to come. Great read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex Fortney

    I thought this book was very insightful, and it kept my interest going. If your looking for a book this perspective from this author is spot on. Definitely recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

    Great I won the giveaway, can't wait to start reading

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Aziz

    Good

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I'm not usually into books regarding business but entered and won this one in a giveaway. The writing style was easy to follow as were the ideas. For anyone interested in starting a business this might be a good book to read to get an idea of how important purpose is in creating a business.

  14. 5 out of 5

    D

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arun

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ted Scofield

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anh

  18. 5 out of 5

    Glory Dey

  19. 4 out of 5

    Drao

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Mord

  21. 5 out of 5

    Baby Lyn

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike Dastic

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roberto Charvel

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fatima Al Khader

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rojesh Chaudhary

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kadiri Saliu

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leah

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    Sharon

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    Kim Ellis

  30. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

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    Gabby

  32. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Jonik

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    Stephanie

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    Charlotte

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    Traci

  36. 4 out of 5

    James

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Gore

  38. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Palmer

  39. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  40. 5 out of 5

    Megan Henn

  41. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

  42. 5 out of 5

    Todd Rumsey

  43. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Johnston

  44. 4 out of 5

    Nick Neagle

  45. 5 out of 5

    Zipporah Sandler

  46. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  47. 4 out of 5

    Luna

  48. 4 out of 5

    Vernon Luckert

  49. 5 out of 5

    Melissa J Poff

  50. 4 out of 5

    Yueyee Vue

  51. 5 out of 5

    Alex Helm

  52. 5 out of 5

    Rod Cressey

  53. 4 out of 5

    Gaochoua Vue

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