Woke Corporations and Cancel Capitalism [S4, E17]
Play • 36 min

Social activism and conscious consumerism are on everyone’s mind. Should businesses be taking stances on the social justice debate of the day?


Given the repeated failures of government to resolve long-festering issues such as widening inequality, injustice, and racism, corporations have now become more engaged in pushing social causes.  Is this simply good marketing? 

At a time when Millennials and Gen-Zers demand more social “woke-ness,” companies are quickly jumping on the opportunity to demonstrate their activism as a way to stand out in the market. Some of it appears legitimate – think of Patagonia, Ben and Jerry, and Nike’s recent support of Colin Kaepernick. Other corporate actions elicit a more cynical response Think of British oil giant BP renaming itself to become “Beyond Petroleum” or Phillip Morris railing against smoking. So, we delved deeper. How far should activism really go? How do we differentiate between genuine mission orientation vs. corporate propaganda to make more profits for shareholders?

Altamar hosts Peter Schechter and Muni Jensen are joined by Vivek Ramaswamy, author of Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam, who argues the case that politics has no place in business. Altamar’s ‘Téa’s Take’ by Téa Ivanovic takes us on a journey: the founding of Immigrant Food, Washington, DC’s first cause-casual restaurant with an embedded social justice mission.

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