Culture & Society
Glasshouse Forum is a research project founded in 2007. The debate about capitalism is polarized and predictable. Dogmatic proponents refuse to admit any problems whatsoever – if only the market economy rules, everything will be for the best. Equally, dogmatic opponents lack sense of understanding of the conditions under which corporations work and of the merits of the market. The discussion about globalization, which often overlaps with the one about capitalism, follows the same debating choreography.
However, the discussion about the problems and merits of capitalism is far too important to be left to dogmatic proponents and opponents. There is reason to be alarmed at its long-term development – both with regards to how companies are developing and to the socioeconomic and political consequences of current dominant business trends. During the last decades we have witnessed a shift away from classic company building to so-called “short-termism” with not enough focus on building sustainable competitive advantage, and with rapid shareholder returns being regarded as the main purpose of the company.
After the fall of communism there seems to be a mix of self-confidence and a lack of fantasy among many capitalists, which often means that they do not fear new challenges. But political memory is short, and if capitalism cannot handle its drawbacks, then others will build their political capital on them. Capitalists need to care about the development and consequences of capitalism – that is the reason why Glasshouse Forum was founded. Glasshouse Forum brings together concerned capitalists and researchers from different disciplines and provides an arena for critical reflection on the merits and problems of capitalism.
The forum is research-oriented and interdisciplinary. It is politically independent and takes a pluralistic approach. It does not engage in lobbying activities, or make policy recommendations. Glasshouse Forum is dedicated to deepening the debate about capitalism through various forms of meetings, seminars and publications.