What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Spoiler alert: Nothing.
This bible verse has endured over the centuries as a reminder that we can't put our price tag on what matters most. Yet, time and again, businesses have put profits above all -- leading our world to the brink of a climate catastrophe, an inequality crisis, and the greatest extinction of other creatures since the dinosaurs (except this time, the meteor is us).
Can we align growing returns with the greater good? Former investment banker turned business ethicist Dr. Dawn Carpenter believes we can -- and that figuring out how just might save the world.
In What Does It Profit, Dawn talks with the world's leading thinkers and researchers, entrepreneurs and executives, exploring the most innovative ways we can reconcile capitalism's demand for profit with the long term well-being of people and the planet. From socially responsible investing to conscious consumerism to business ethics in this age of extremes, Dawn is your guide to the cutting-edge ideas and experiments driving the purpose-driven business revolution. What Does It Profit?
The Value of Truth in Science: Whistling At The Fake
In this episode, Dr. Dawn is in conversation with Dr. Elisabeth Bik and Dr. Ivan Oransky. Dr. Elisabeth Bik is a microbiologist and scientific integrity consultant who has worked to call out fraudulent scientific papers. She became renowned in her fight against the bad science behind hydroxychloroquine as an effective therapy against COVID-19 that resulted in a global Twitter assault.
Dr. Ivan Oransky is an accomplished journalist, editor, and educator who founded Retraction Watch, the world’s only aggregated database of scientific retraction. In this episode, our guests take a moral stance on science - and tell us… What Does It Profit?
This episode has been produced as part of "Whistling at the Fake: The Crucial Role of Whistleblowers in Countering Disinformation," a global business ethics research project funded by NATO's Public Diplomacy Division as part of its resilience projects. The project aims at addressing the gap of citizen comprehension of the forms, means, and impacts of misinformation and disinformation, and empowering the general public with the tools through which to identify fake news, including appropriate responses to such behaviors. The project focuses on the crucial role whistleblowers and other knowledgeable insiders play in exposing misleading and hostile information activities and increasing public resilience to acts of this nature. The project is managed by Manchester Metropolitan University and coordinated by the Principal Investigator Dr. Costantino Grasso, who serves as Associate Professor in Business and Law at Manchester Law School.
Off-Season | Meme Stocks vs. Short-Selling for Good-- Revisited
As we head into the 4th of July holiday weekend, we dig into the WDIP back catalog to revisit a conversation from October 2020 with The Assassin, famed short-seller Fahmi Quadir.
Now that meme stocks are a thing and short-selling and hedge funds have made their way into social media lexicon, we thought it was time to take another listen.
We'll be back in two weeks to share with you a conversation with Dr. Dawn and the folks at Hustlers for a Cause-- talking entrepreneurship and the soul of What Does It Profit, contributive justice. In the meantime, Happy Birthday, America, from all of us at What Does It Profit!
Off-Season | Finance Justice: Promoting Lives of Greater Economic Success
In this off-season episode, we dig into the WDIP back catalog to revisit a conversation with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) CEO, Lisa Mensah where we talked about the idea of "finance justice." The original conversation was released in December 2020. The work keeps pressing forward as OFN seeks to build coalitions of investors that believe that investing in people pays rich dividends by building lives of greater economic success.
Special thanks to Peter Collins for sharing his soulful rendition of the Gospel classic "I Don't Feel Noways Tired" that provides a special kind of mojo for this episode.
For those interested in joining this movement, OFN invites WDIP listeners to join them virtually at their annual conference in October 2021.
Stay tuned. We will be back with you in two week when we talk about the big, bad "H" word: "hedge" funds and revisit a conversation with the "Assassin," famed short-seller Fahmi Quadir. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss a thing.
Off-Season | About WDIP and Dr. Dawn w/Uncertain Things
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend-- the unofficial start of summer... at last! At What Does It Profit, we are officially in the "Off-Season" and busy cleaning house, tuning up, and otherwise getting ready for Season 3.
During the off-season, we wanted you to get to know more about our host and the ethics work behind the show. We also want to introduce new listeners to insights from our back catalog in mini-episodes beginning in June.
This week, we introduce you to our friends, Adaam and Vanessa of Uncertain Things. Their social-commentary podcast is what our friends in Boston call "wicked-awesome." Our host, Dr. Dawn, sat down during Season 2 to talk all things WDIP and the work of storytelling in finance and investment. We hope you enjoy the conversation.
Capitalism in Service to Human Rights (Steven Donziger)
We’ve reached the end of our second season. This is the time when we take a pause and look back. In today’s episode, it means looking back to our pilot episode about shareholder activism and our Season 1 bonus episode called The Price of the Ecuadorian Chernobyl. This is the story of Chevron and the decades of oil dumping in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
In this episode, we jump back into this epic David and Goliath story and get to know Steven Donziger, the human rights lawyer at the center of all of it.
Why are we having this conversation now? After losing its case, Chevron is seeking to hinder the collection of the judgment by filing a retaliatory lawsuit meant to silence and bankrupt the lawyer representing the Ecuadorians. It’s almost unbelievable. Do the math. Chevron owes the Ecuadorians $9.5 billion, and it’s now demanding $60 billion from Steven.
As bankers, we are trained to follow the money. And we suspect that there’s more to the story. We have a lot we could talk to Steven about. But in this episode, we’ll try to get to know Steven and find out how he managed to turn the tables and use the tools of capitalism in service to human rights. Maybe this is what’s really spooking Chevron, and dare we suggest might be spooking the entire petrochemical industry.
The Economic Value of Dignity (Megha Desai)
We’ve reached the last regular episode of Season 2. Hold on to your passport. We’re still travelling. We start in New York and then head to India with Megha Desai. Megha is the former ad agency protégé, who after a decade in the business, answered the call of the ancient Indian philosophy of Dharma. She has energized a newly transformed family foundation into a leading voice for economically and socially marginalized women in India. Megha’s amazing work has empowered women in ways that break through centuries of marginalization.
NOTE: Next week, we’re off to finish production on our not-to-be-missed Season 2 Bonus episode. Available on April 28.
Season 3 will launch September 8 after a 4-month show and social media upgrade to improve the listener experience. During this time, we will bring you bi-weekly mini-episodes drawing insights and updates from conversations in our back catalog. Subscribe now, and we’ll see you in September!
Important and interesting, a rare thing!!
I love how there is a new guest weekly, which allows for a variety of topics and voices to be heard! I learn something new every week and look forward to the episodes, which have already expanded my finance vocabulary and allowed for me to have something to contribute to conversations being had in this sphere, and outside of it! Example- I knew nothing about short selling until the episode on it! Dr. Carpenter is passionate and her excitement about her work comes alive throughout the episodes. She is the perfect person to bring these topics to the forefront, and a brilliant educator and podcast host.
Relevant and good!
Really enjoyed this podcast! Loved how it regularly discusses current events. It’s easy to listen to and has good audio quality. The guests are informative and the host does a good job managing them.
I love good podcast. Very nice show,