Friday, October 9, 2009

Signs of Changes in Economic Attitudes?

During a recent meeting with some friends, the topic of discussion turned to economic reform. We discussed our disappointment that very little has happened in terms of economic reforms as a result of this past year's economic meltdown. In fact, some of us were wondering if this is a topic that we could legitimately express anger over. Fortunately, I'm beginning to see some indication that the momentum is finally starting to build for economic reform.

Yesterday morning I received an invitation to a major conference on Building the New Economy in Washington DC sponsored by The Campaign for America's Future. As appropriate for a conference dealing with economic transformation, registration is completely free and open to everyone. I plan to go.

While an important aspect of economic reform deals with changes to regulations, the other important aspect deals with changes to our cultural attitudes and behavior. I recently came across two optimistic examples of such changes in Good Magazine. The first is a student movement for MBAs at the Harvard Business School to take a pledge to "serve the greater good" and to "act with utmost integrity". More than 50% of the graduating class has taken the oath. The second interesting bit of news that caught my eye was a project at Google that involved employees submitting ideas to change the world and help as many people as possible. Five winning ideas will be selected and Google will spend $10 million to make them real. Are these an indication of a larger transformation happening in our society? We can hope so.

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