Akash Kapur’s New York Times article describes through his personal experiential lens, “creative destruction,” a concept Joseph Alois Schumpeter popularized in his 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Kapur describes how innovative entrepreneurial development that can sustain long-term economic growth bringing wealth to some in previously impoverished areas, simultaneously often destroys the values of a culture, fabric of a community and the natural beauty of an environment. The July 2009 issue of the Chicago Journals Economic Development and Cultural Change’s articles address this phenomenon from different perspectives in various countries’ initiatives. Since I’ve long supported sustainable development initiatives in the US and throughout the world, I continue to explore with all types of leaders – from local communities to national governments to multi-national corporations – how to balance many of these complex and often competing issues. Kapur’s piece also particularly resonated with me as right now I am half-way through Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss.
I welcome your comments as all of us who struggle with the unintended consequences of good deeds can benefit from each other’s insights, whether we work in business, government or civil society. And, I’m interested to see whether each of those respective sectors view these issues through the lens of humanitarian philanthropy, economic development or some other way.