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Ending the Shareholder v Stakeholder Nonsense

March 15th 2021 

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To mark the 50-year anniversary of Milton Friedman’s influential New York Times piece on the social responsibility of business, the Stigler Centre for the study of the economy and the State at University of Chicago Booth School of Business published “a series of articles on the shareholder-stakeholder debate” in Milton Friedman 50 Years Later. 


This conference will explore the argument, that the debate is based on a misunderstanding of Friedman's views. Also, that it is remised on an entirely false dichotomy, a view expressed by Arie de Geus author of The Living Company and a former senior executive of Royal Dutch Shell. He argued, ““Like all organisms, the living company exists primarily for its own survival and improvement: to fulfil its potential and to become as great as it can be. It does not exist solely to provide customers with goods, or to return investment to shareholders”. Read more

In discussions with several senior executives and thought leaders, Paul Barnett, Founder & CEO of the Enlightened Enterprise Academy has found his, and Arie’s, view is widely shared. So, several have been asked to join an online conference with the aim of changing the narrative, and of moving beyond the false dichotomy.

Confirmed Speakers

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Dr Roger Barker

Head of Policy and Corporate Governance, Institute of Directors 


Paul Barnett 

Founder & CEO,

Enlightened Enterprise Academy

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George Dallas

Head of Policy, International Corporate Governance Network

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John Kay

Economist, Author and Contributor to the Financial Times

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Martin Reeves

Chairman of Boston Consulting Group's

Henderson Institute

Judy Samuelson

VP, the Aspen Institute and Chair of the Aspen Institute Business in Society Program 

Lars Rebien Sørensen

Former CEO of Novo Nordisk and Chairman of the Novo Nordisk Foundation 

Charlotte Valeur

CEO, Global Governance Group and most recent former Chair of the Institute of Directors 


2pm - 6.30pm GMT

The agenda details will be published soon  

£FREE TICKETS - Event Access Only
£10 TICKETS - Event Access, Recordings & Enlightened Enterprise Manifesto eBook


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