Guy was a guest lecturer in my BGI class tonight and I had the chance to ask him a few questions about the role and interest of the Venture Capital community in sustainable enterprise. I was disappointed in - actually angry is probably a better description - his unwillingness to acknowledge that certain LOHAS markets such as organic retail and clean tech are becoming profit centers.
It wasn't a one-on-one and given that I love his books I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he recognizes the burgeoning markets and the $100'sM in interest from VC but was trying to put that into perspective compared to the larger trends in finance.
I think I'm disappointed for another reason. Guy is a leader. And I want to see a leader with a positive vision. Instead of saying that we should make our money in conventional industry so that we might one day be able to give philanthropically, I wanted to hear him lay out a vision for how business will begin to find profitability that isn't built on externalization of costs. The UN recently reported that the top 3,000 multi-national corporations are creating $2.2T in environmental damage each year. I wanted him to tell us how business can effect positive change.