Research Seminar: Geoffrey Jones

Research Seminar: Geoffrey Jones

Unconventional and Esoteric Values and Alternative Capitalism

Location: Copeland Room, Hagley Library.

Time: 6:30pm.

This paper explores why unconventional and esoteric philosophical and religious beliefs have sometimes provided the foundation for successful business enterprises over the last two hundred years, and more especially for businesses pursuing goals other than securing returns to shareholders. It will use the examples of leaders influenced by Anthroposophy, Jainism, Mormonism, and process philosophy who developed ventures with shared characteristics including a stakeholder view of capitalism, a systems-wide and holistic view of the role of business in society, a deep embedment in local community, and a broad spirituality which infused a world view.

Geoffrey Jones

Geoffrey Jones is Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, and Faculty Chair of the Business History Initiative at Harvard Business School. Jones researches the evolution, impact, and responsibility of global business. He has written extensively on consumer products and services, and the business history of emerging markets. Jones is the author of numerous books and articles, including Profits & Sustainability: A History of Green Entrepreneurship, and Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry. His current project examines how religious, philosophical, and other values have shaped concepts of business responsibility to society across the world.


David B. Sicilia of the University of Maryland will provide introductory comments.

Attendees are encouraged to read Jones' paper, "Unconventional and Esoteric Values and Alternative Capitalism," which may be obtained by contacting Carol Lockman at

Free, reply requested, call (302) 658-2400, ext. 243, or email Carol Lockman at

Banner Image: Board room at Chamber of Commerce Building, 1928, 1993230_0152, Series I, Subseries J, Box 31, Folder 14, Chamber of Commerce of the United States photographs and audiovisual materials (Accession 1993.230), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, DE 19807