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Business Education and Social Responsibility

In the spring of 1984 I drafted a proposal for 'alternative' business education at my school, Hampshire College. This followed up on my earlier work in the field of Socially Responsible Investing - something documented in the Hampshire College archives.

Though some of the radical folks hated me I did establish good relationships with a few board members - I have a great story about hanging out with the IBM R&D V.P. and also met Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams. But my best working relationship was with a gentleman by the name of Yerger Johnstone, a Vietnam era colonel and managing director of Venture Capital for Morgan Stanley. (He married a woman of more left leaning persuasions, assumably for love.)

The below letter is from another Board Member, the respected NY Nuclear Activist Cora Weiss, concerning a forward of that proposal from Yerger.

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Unfortunately this is an idea I didn't follow up on - lost over the summer, and the following year. Ms. Weiss's points are accurate - including competition from the Yale School of Management not too far South. Her points about individuals managing their own work do highlite an important distinction about just what actually constitutes 'business'.

Her definition of business as exploitation is unfortunately too close to the truth. My belief though is that business in a democracy is not based on corporate units but rather individuals making decisions on how to best apply their time to their own 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'.


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