Future of Capitalism where People Matter


At  #TiEcon2022 the largest #entrepreneurship conference taking place in Silicon Valley, the theme this year is Imagination Unleashed. After all entrepreneurs are visionaries and dreamers who take tiny grain of an idea and often grow it to unleash a force for something much bigger and often better. As in previous years, this year also there will be opportunities to listen to incredible speakers, panelists and thinkers like the amazing 2021 keynote speaker, Adena Friedman. She once said, “new products, new markets, and new ways of doing things are the lifeblood of growth” and no one would know it better than Adena Friedman, currently serving as the President and CEO of Nasdaq Inc. It is worth repeating the known fact that on the world’s first electronic exchange global marketplace for buying and trading securities, most of the world’s technology giants are listed on Nasdaq and at least half of the American adult population invests directly or indirectly in the stock market through brokerage accounts, retirement or savings vehicles.

After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Friedman’s professional journey began at Nasdaq in 1993, where she served as the Head of Data Products and Chief Financial Officer. She left Nasdaq and joined the reputed private investment firm, The Carlyle Group as CFO and MD in 2011 and then returned to Nasdaq in 2014. 

In 2019, Friedman gave a TED talk titled “What’s the future of capitalism?” Capitalism is an economic system where private citizens own industries or companies, rather than the Government. And in that way, it is the will of the people that decides the fate of commercial ideas, worthy of investment. Friedman asserts that capitalism is intricately tied to our freedoms. 

While capitalism has indeed done a great deal for humankind, capitalism is also blamed for many financial disasters and inequities. According to a recent Edelman report, persistent and rising inequality can unbalance a society over a long term, as people lose trust in the institutions and experience a sense of injustice. And in the end, capitalism doesn’t work for anyone if it doesn’t work well for the working middle class. More recently, ideas have emerged to alter capitalistic systems in varying forms such as “conscious capitalism”, “inclusive capitalism” and more. 

Friedman asserts that capitalism works well in lock step with healthy governance that fosters, a) healthy competition through regulations and incentivizing small businesses, b) prioritizes societal benefits like clean energy through regulations and c) government itself makes investment in areas of societal benefits like broad based education, healthcare, defense. Friedman further asserts that in a well balanced system, capitalism offers a platform for the buyer and seller to come together for “price discovery” through a dialog, in an efficient manner. She believes that if we can level the playing field then we can create markets of tomorrow for people, with people and for the benefits of more people. 

Exciting keynotes, speakers and panels are lined up for #TiEcon2022 – Please register at www.tiecon.org .

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