Michael Porter: The case for letting business solve social problems

Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society's biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he's biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit — which lets that solution grow.

Harvard Business School professor and strategy guru Michael Porter made a compelling argument for business as a force for social change at TED Global in 2013. The business world was paying attention. 

In 2011, only 15% of S&P 500 firms were actively pursuing CSR activities. By 2015, that number had jumped to 81%. 

This is great news. It means that there's no longer any doubt that corporate social performance drives corporate financial performance (when done thoughtfully). The only downside is that smaller businesses may miss out as the bar is continually raised.

For those of you unlikely to watch a 16 minute video, a transcript is available here.