John Mackey on Whole Foods, Conscious Capitalism, and Life Beyond the Profit Motive


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"I think the critics of capitalism have got it in this very small box—that it's all about money," explains John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods. "And yet, I haven't found it be that way. I've known hundreds of entrepreneurs and with very few exceptions most of them did not start their businesses primarily to make money."

In Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, Mackey and his co-author, Raj Sisodia, make a case that businesses are at their best when reaching for a higher purpose that ranges far beyond any simplistic notions of the profit motive or self-interest. (For more information on Mackey's Conscious Capitalism nonprofit, go here).

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Mackey to discuss his new book, the success of Whole Foods, the growing burden of government on day-to-day life, and how the Austin-based entrepreneur came to appreciate what he calls "the heroic spirit of business."

About 45 minutes. Shot by Josh Swain, Amanda Winkler, and Todd Krainin at the 2013 International Students for Liberty Conference, held February 14-16 in Washington, D.C. Edited by Meredith Bragg.

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