The Charger Blog

Conscious Capitalism Conversation Addresses ‘Doing Good while Doing Business’

A movement that challenges entrepreneurs, leaders, and employees to not just do well but to do good, conscious capitalism has been adopted by many well-known companies and business leaders – including some University alumni. A panel of business professionals discussed the power and potential of this approach with the University community.

November 7, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of conscious capitalism panel
Al Bhatt, M.A. (right) led a conversation about conscious capitalism.

Leigha Scalf ’20 M.A., a candidate in the University of New Haven’s industrial/organizational psychology graduate program, says a recent discussion she attended about conscious capitalism inspired her to think about how she could apply the philosophy – which centers on making a positive impact and empowering others – to her own field.

"I enjoyed hearing the panelists’ personal philosophies," she said. "This topic resonated for me personally because I am religious, and the discussion gave me clarity about connecting my personal beliefs about doing what is right to my work."

Al Bhatt, M.A., practitioner in residence at the University of New Haven, led a conversation about "Doing Good While Doing Business."

"Conscious capitalism is not a business model or strategy," said Bhatt. "It is a comprehensive philosophy and framework for doing model business. In other words, it is an approach for business leaders, entrepreneurs, and companies who want to, in the most simplistic terms, do good."

"Question everything, show up, and be your authentic self."Karen Perez ’18 M.A.

Created by leaders and employees who value trust, accountability, personal growth, and integrity, conscious capitalism is a different mindset than focusing solely on generating financial wealth.

"Conscious capitalism takes into account social, cultural, and environmental wellbeing, and enables people to make a difference," said Bhatt.

Larry Bingaman ’92 EMBA, president and CEO of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, has previously discussed the benefits of the approach with students at the University. He described how it led to improved financial strength and reduced operating costs at the company, and he hopes to continue to see the conscious capitalism movement grow.

"Education is important, and the sooner we teach conscious capitalism in high schools and colleges, the sooner we can spread it across the country," said Bingaman, CEO of the Connecticut Chapter of Conscious Capitalism. "Individually, the most important thing we can do is to lead by example – to do what we say, and say what we do."

Image of conscious capitalism panel
Left to right: Jeff Hittner, Larry Bingaman ’92 EMBA, Karen Perez ’18 M.A., Lawrence Ford, and Al Bhatt, M.A.

Bingaman was one of four business professionals who have adopted conscious capitalism who took part in the panel discussion. He and Jeff Hittner, co-founder of Project X: The Purpose Company; Lawrence Ford, founder and CEO of Conscious Capital Wealth Management; and Karen Perez ’18 M.A., an associate at Empowered Hospitality, discussed the benefits of working for an organization that adopts a conscious culture.

Perez, a graduate of the University’s industrial/organizational psychology graduate program, hoped to inspire current students.

"As a recent graduate of the University, my advice to students is to just be conscious," said Perez, whose work has focused on organizational design and change management. "Remember that you have passion and purpose. Question everything, show up, and be your authentic self."

James Pisano ’21 M.A., a candidate in the I/O psychology program, found her advice – and the conversation – to be stimulating.

"I thought this discussion was very insightful," he said. "I’m especially glad to see alumni return to the University, and I was glad to hear from such a diverse panel. This gave students guidance and reinforced the message that we have the potential to make positive changes in the world."