Conscious Capitalism: A New Book by our Co-Founder and Co-CEO, John Mackey

When you think about the word “conscious,” what words come to mind? Aware? Mindful? Awake? What about “capitalism?” Selfish? Greedy? Unethical? Unfortunately there are plenty of people out there who don’t have a very positive perception of business in general. But what happens when you combine the concept of consciousness with capitalism? John Mackey, Whole Foods Market®’s co-founder and co-CEO, along with Raj Sisodia, a business professor at Bentley College, address that concept in their new book, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.

Check out this short video of John explaining why he and Raj wrote this book:

As you probably know from shopping in our stores, the way we do things in our company is different from the norm. But we’re not alone. Many successful companies are actualizing their higher purposes to do good in the world. In Conscious Capitalism, John and Raj share the Whole Foods Market story, as well as the success stories of other well-known companies like The Container Store, Trader Joes, Southwest Airlines and many others, to illustrate how conscious businesses that are operating with a higher purpose can — and do— create value for all.

“Conscious capitalism” is helping lead many businesses to long-term success at a time when consumers are looking for more meaning in the products they buy and the companies they do business with. Let’s face it, businesses that pursue profit above everything else will lose their relationships with customers and with their other stakeholders, and will eventually fail. It’s exciting to feel that the tides are changing for the better. 

If you believe in the inherent good of capitalism and that business can and should create value for society as a whole, then check out this book! 

Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business is available to purchase from online booksellers and bookstores.

The book is also being sold at all Whole Foods Market stores and the profits from copies sold in our stores will go to the Whole Planet Foundation®. Whole Planet Foundation supports poverty alleviation and entrepreneurship through microcredit in communities worldwide that supply Whole Foods Market stores with products.

Do you believe in the power of “conscious capitalism?” Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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RM says …

Sorry you had to apologize for using the word 'fascism.' Those offended folks will feel it in their pocketbooks one day. They sound to me like democrats who don't have a lick of business sense or any knowledge of mathematical business formulas or economics. They are probaby unaware that their party of today is not the one of JFK's time; that there are 80 'progressive' democrats in the House & Senate; and that to be progressive is to be a socialist. I always thought a person should be one or the other -- a democrat or a socialist but never both together. To me, that is a dangerous combination. Socialism leads to communism and the offended ones can't see how communism relates to fascism! They cannot see how their 'hope' called Obama studied communism in a concentrated fashion in his formative years from 7th grade through law school & after! I hope the republicans will pick up the slack for those customers who are leaving because of your comments on Obamacare. What is a dictator anyway? Keep up the educational stance on free capital enterprise. It is a blessing from God, has always worked, and only fails when invaded by principles of socialism -- which is what Obamacare is. Thank you.

ciao says …

Mr. Mackey it took guts to defend capitalism today in America. Good for you. Many Americans agree with you. Soon it will be too late to speak out against the health mandate that's being forced on Americans. Since people don't believe it, they will have to wait to see how their own health care and vital life issues will be governed by a panel of behavioral economic bureaucrats.

Mike says …

Kudos to Mackey for telling it like it is in regards to obamacare. Call a spade a spade. If you had a store in my area i would defintely shop there. Thank you.

ecomancraig says …

About to start reading Conscious Capitalism. Partly due to reading some of the comments of John's writings in various publications in 1990's I had occasionally thought about attempting a book that would likely have been called something like "A (Genuinely-Educated) Free Market" dealing with the ideals, facades and approaches towards genuine & healthy governance. A lot of this would have (been) to do with the structures (of governance) that help support or destroy the potential for "genuine & healthy." A lot very / extremely similar to your efforts / ideas on taxation, subsidy, health, health care, etc. A few concerns (That I may find addressed in your book) that I feel could add to the positive effects of the few-if-any loophole system of taxation (Flat tax rates with only very basic of exemptions, with any additional needs above that addressed by "social / well-fare services") is getting rid of most agriculture subsidies and replacing these with improved / increased "SNAP" benefits (Including for a few percentage more people to not be price-shocked at realizing how much conventional dairy might still cost) that have 50% of the benefits be only available to be spent on "from scratch," local farm markets, bulk, and perhaps a % on only 'whole' within these categories. (Yes, this is something that would have been impossible before the decade passed; yet, now, except for one-store retailers with non (Or, in-house) computerized inventories / pos systems - this having much opportunity to bring better, more diverse (Less depleted, commodified mono-cropped, patented / highly risky gmo), and quality foods to people while not supporting subsidized "junk foods" that are highly costly beyond "just the subsidies." Concerning “agriculture” in the USA – I think an essay on “Less Than 2% - Was This a Conscience / Conscious Choice?” (To decrease the number of people directly involved with food processing / production, was the often heard adage of less than two percent a thought out plan or a misguided unthunk process that led towards “unhealthy” concentrations of production / processing). Another area, dealing with the people of this nation's general resistance towards health gaining / regaining "alternatives" (Often, still, frequently outside of the "insurance" industry belt / stranglehold) in areas such as therapy, counseling and (natural) medicine. While yes, requires much attention towards positive in education or turning some of the momentum of the high-cost / often (still) ineffective / inefficient (Unsustainable in-terms of costs to world resources) of what many (Not all, and not all that work within the generally invasive / anti- / "hospital-first" categories); yet more towards pro-bio in terms of supporting the (very generally) ability to improve (greatly) many (ill) health conditions; and, prevent the loss of good health from cradle to grave (very holistic approaches, including "ecology within, and the out-of-doors"). While I am sure / know you only meant to call such systems (that are on national "health care" agenda / legislative routes), "fascist" - in that there does seem to be a stranglehold on the conscious of many that regularly work / deal with this subject on a daily basis; and yet, only a bit of an (important) twist of perspective that needs to get this movement towards an honest (with our selves / collective selves) and genuine approach towards true health in sense of the word applied to capitalism, education, health care, nutrition, and everything eco (Economy&Ecology). Some thoughts on nutrition, health & education is an idea that schools should have to employ both (Both, or only one {as their conscious or budget might require} at choice of vote by every cycle in years of their current students' parents) their usual "school nurse" / counselor(s) and or a Naturopathic Doctor that has focus on improvement of nutrition of individuals and adopting positive current or new initiatives (while also meeting usual day-to-day and emergency health concerns). Thank you for giving voice to these concerns. Craig

Craig Loeffelholz says …

The reference to expression by Lincoln on page 30 sums up much about seriousness in some of our difficulties in our approaching capitalism, economy & ecology. A twisted sentiment on the abundance that nature & well managed nature can provide is seen in our (general) approach to such things as health care (Though is good to see recent efforts to figure out broad solutions to better effectiveness & addressing some extremes seen in such expenditures). Better approaches & re-learning provided by incentives seen in educational efforts & self-insurance by companies such as Whole Foods will be a big part of any transition towards healthy & sustainable commerce.

Stephen Richmond says …

I respect John's views very much and have in fact bought his book. However, the comments below regarding socialism leading to communism could only come from an American. I am afraid many in the US have been blinded towards this stance. Many succesfull European states are a now a mix of socialism and capitalism most having headed towards both ways at some point in the past but realised the beneifits of 'the middle gorund'. It must be stressed that there are much more examples socialism being a temperance for outright capitalism rather than socialism leading to communism.