Hello. I’m Professor Dr Wayne Visser and in this podcast series, I share my reflections on what it means to be purpose-inspired, whether as an organisation, an individual or even as a whole society. It is really the story of my own exploration over the past 20 years of how business can be a force for good in the world, and how individuals can make a positive difference. I have organized the podcast chronologically, so you join me on the journey and see how key ideas evolve over time. As we go, you will notice the ebb and flow of global trends, the entry and exit of pioneering companies, and the twisting kaleidoscope of responses to the world’s greatest challenges.
Over the past 30 years, I have travelled to more than 75 countries and captured my learning in more than 20 books on topics like corporate social responsibility and sustainable business. For each series, I have selected one book that synthesizes the emerging ideas, practices and lessons learned on the journey to being purpose-inspired. And I have tried to make each podcast a bite-size chunk of around 15 or 20 minutes. Some of you will be faithful companions for the entire trip, across multiple series. Others will tag along for a while, dipping in and out according to their interest. All of you are most welcome.
In the inaugural series, we begin with my very first book – and one that I am in many ways still the most proud of. The book’s title is Beyond Reasonable Greed: Why Sustainable Business is a Much Better Idea, although I originally wanted to call it Shapeshifting. The reason is because I use a fun wildlife metaphor throughout the book, arguing that companies need to shift from acting like predatory lions to being more like elephants, which are wise, gentle and highly collaborative creatures. We end by exploring two scenarios for the world, called Oases in the Desert and Plains of the Serengeti.
In subsequent series, I will share different approaches and ideas that emerged from other books of mine, like Business Frontiers, Making a Difference, The Age of Responsibility, The Quest for Sustainable Business and Sustainable Frontiers. I look forward having you along for the ride. Please do invite your friends to join us – the more the merrier. We are at a crucial time in our history where the problems are urgent, complex and in desperate need of innovative solutions. So the more we can share our ideas and knowledge – and the more we can all be purpose inspired – the better our chances of creating a future in which our children, and the other life we share this planet with, can not only survive, but positively thrive.