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THE CORPORATION [8/23]

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[Mindset] The corporation is not a person it doesn't think. People in it think and for them it is legitimate to create terminator technology. So that farmers are not able to save their seeds. Seeds that will destroy themselves through a suicide gene. Seeds that are designed to only produce crop in one season. You really need to have a brutal mind. It's a war against evolution to even think in those terms. But quite clearly profits are so much higher in their minds. The profit motive which drove Klutzy to accomplish so much may bring out the evil as well as the good... Hellooo? My work spans all industry sectors I mean I virtually have worked for like I'd say 25% of the fortune 500. I've posed as an investment banker. I've posed as a venture capitalist. I've set up front companies that are executive recruiting firms. Essentially I'm a spy. I'll locate your employees and I will tell them that I'm calling from Acme Recruiting Agency and that I've got a job that pays them considerably more than what they're paying. Would they mind meeting me for an interview? And when the executive shows up what he doesn't realize is I'm actually debriefing him on behalf of a competitor. That there is no job and that the office that he's at has been rented and the picture on my desk of my family is a phoney and it's all just a big elaborate ruse to glean competitive information from him. I don't feel any guilt. It's you know, what I mean you have to expect that guys like me are out there. We're predators. It's about competition it's about market share it's about being aggressive and it's about shareholder value. What is your stock at today? If you're a CEO, I mean, do you think your shareholders really care whether you're Billie Buttercup or not? Do you think that they really they would prefer you to be a nice guy? Over having money in their pocket? I don't think so. I think people want money. That's the bottom line. The fact that most of these companies are run by white men, white rich men means that they are out of touch with what the majority of the world is. Because the majority of this planet are not a bunch of rich white guys. They are people of other colours they are the majority. Women are the majority, and the poor and working poor make up the majority of this planet. So the decisions they make come from not the reality that exists throughout the world. How much is enough? You know, how much is enough? If you are a billionaire, would it be okay just to be a half a billionaire? Wouldn't it be okay for your company to make a little less money... When I bought those two airplane tickets for Phil Knight and myself to fly to Indonesia I was prepared for him to say okay lets go. Oh no not a chance Not a chance. No? They're transferable. I can change it to another day. And call me on it. Call my bluff. He's a smart guy. I mean he's not he's not stupid. And so I thought okay get ready for this. Especially because you know I bought first-class tickets. So you know it would be a comfortable ride at least you know and of course he tells me then on camera. I've never been to Indonesia. And I'm like taken aback by this. I can't believe it. The guys the head of the company he's never walked through his own factories. Oh you've got to go. I can't go right now and the rest of this year. When we were done filming he calls me up a couple of weeks later and he goes I may have a chance to go there with you to the factories. I'm going to the Australian Open to watch some tennis. and, uh, you know maybe I can get up there, or at least you can go there. Would you like to go to the Australian open? For 21 years I never gave a thought to what we were taking from the earth or doing to the earth in the making of our products. And then in the summer of 1994 we began to hear questions from our customers we had never heard before What's your company doing for the environment? And we didn't have answers. The real answer was not very much. And it really disturbed many of our people not me so much as them. And a group in our research department decided to convene a taskforce and bring people from our businesses around the world to come together to assess our company's world wide environment position to begin to frame answers for those customers. They asked me if I would come and speak to that group and give them a kick off speech and launch this new task force with an environmental vision and I didn't have an environmental vision and I did not want to make that speech. And at sort of the propitious moment this book landed on my desk. It was Paul Hawkins book The Ecology of Commerce and I began to read The Ecology of Commerce, really desperate for inspiration and very quickly into that book I found the phrase "The death of birth". It was E. O. Wilson's expression for species extinction "The death of birth" and it was a point of a spear into my chest and I read on and the spear went deeper and it became an epiphanal experience a total change of mindset for myself and a change of paradigm. Can any product be made sustainably? Well not any and every product. Can you make landmines sustainably? Well I don't think so. There's a more fundamental question than that about landmines. Some products ought not to be made at all. Unless we can make carpets sustainably you know perhaps we don't have a place in a sustainable world but neither does anybody else making products unsustainably. One day early in this journey it dawned on me that the way I'd been running Interface is the way of the plunderer. Plundering something that's not mine, something that belongs to every creature on earth. And I said to myself, my goodness, the day must come when this is illegal, when plundering is not allowed, I mean, it must come. So I said to myself, my goodness, some day people like me will end up in jail.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: MARK ACHBAR and BART SIMPSON
Director: MARK ACHBAR and JENNIFER ABBOTT
Views: 132
Posted by: rafaelmatheus on May 30, 2010

The profit motive drives the actions of the corporation and creates a mindset of competition and anything goes. Meet corporate spy and self-described predator Marc Barry as he describes his tactics for gathering intelligence from competing corporations.
Juxtapose his attitude with Ray Anderson, President of Interface, who, in an epiphanic
moment, realized he was a plunderer and it was only a matter of time before the law
figures it out.

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