jonathan haidt

Ethical Systems Design is the Red Pill for Reducing Inequality

Part 2 of Jonathan Haidt's post on his recent talk at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Read Part 1 here.

A friend of Mark Twain once said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Rising inequality is similar. Many on the left urge policies that would redistribute wealth more effectively, such as raising the top marginal tax rates. Some on the right have begun talking about inequality, and they propose policies that would encourage entrepreneurialism among the poor and working class, such as clearing away licensing restrictions on hairdressers and other small businesses.

Yet given the politically charged nature of this debate, neither side is going to get a chance to try its policies unless it gets control of the Oval Office and both houses of Congress.

Aren’t there any new ideas out there? Isn’t there anything that both sides might support? How about…better business ethics, achieved with little or no new regulation? How about Ethical Systems Design?

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Buddha Makes the Business Case for Business Ethics

Part 1 of 2 on my talk at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival.

In just the last few years, there has been a lot of new research showing when and why ethics pays. I recently pulled this evidence together for a talk I gave at the Aspen Ideas Festival. I set up the argument by quoting Buddha’s version of the business case:

Set your heart on doing good.
Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.
A fool is happy until his mischief turns against him.
And a good man may suffer until his goodness flowers.

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Our first year

EthicalSystems.org is almost one year old, and like all one-year-olds, it has grown a lot in its first year. When we launched the site in January, we had 18 collaborators, 14 research pages, and no real budget. But we were bound together by the belief that the massive body of research on ethics in organizations could and should be synthesized and made accessible, for free, to the business community, regulators, and the general public.

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2014 Highlights from Our Collaborators

2014 was a busy year. Here are some of the highlights from our collaborators.

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How do people change their minds about issues?

How do people change their minds about issues?

A respected colleague asked over lunch and it prompted me to write some thoughts down.  Belief change and behavior change (page on that coming soon) can both be instrumental in ethical systems design so it seemed appropriate to share our Cliffs Notes on belief change here.

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