The other day I responded to reader criticisms of a clean energy pioneer based on the money he had made, arguing that to ramp up renewables we need to demonstrate financial success. Yet there is no doubt that material wealth and economic prosperity often go hand-in-hand with compromise or a downgrading of more altruistic intentions. Jo Confino writes for The Guardian Professional Network about the illusive balance between seeking profits and doing good. From Fair Trade coffee companies to his own newspaper, mission-driven businesses need to find a way to remain financially viable, but without throwing out the sense of purpose that make them different in the first place:
The answer is not to discriminate between our extrinsic and intrinsic values by seeing one as bad and the other as good, for that serves only to set one part of our mind against the other. A better way forward is for each individual or company to deeply understand their motivations and prejudices as well as what lies behind them. By going through that honest process we come to the recognition that it is only by unifying our internal conflicts that we can start to truly believe in a positive future in the world around us.