"What is the purpose of business?" a man asked "Isn't it really about people?"
He asked it very publicly of the US President, Bill Clinton in 1996,
In his 1996 paper, he set out the case for a people-centered approach to economics with a challenge to Milton Friedman's assertion of shareholder primacy. Esssentially a business can put the interests of other people before shareholders if that's what's agreed at inception.
"The P-CED concept is to create new businesses that do things differently from their inception, and perhaps modify existing businesses that want to do it. This business model entails doing exactly the same things by which any business is set up and conducted in the free-market system of economics. The only difference is this: that at least fifty percent of profits go to stimulate a given local economy, instead of going to private hands. In effect, the business would operate in much the same manner as a charitable, non-profit organization whose proceeds go to local, national, and international charities. Non-profits, however, are typically very restricted in the type of business they can conduct. In the United States, all non-profits must constantly pay heed that they are not violating those restrictions, lest they suffer the wrath of the Internal Revenue Service. For-profits, on the other hand, have a relatively free hand when it comes to doing business. The only restrictions are the normal terms and conditions of free-enterprise. If a corporation wants to donate to its local community, it can do so, be it one percent, five percent, fifty or even seventy percent. There is no one to protest or dictate otherwise, except a board of directors and stockholders. This is not a small consideration, since most boards and stockholders would object. But, if an a priori arrangement has been made with said stockholders and directors such that this direction of profits is entirely the point, then no objection can emerge. Indeed, the corporate charter can require that these monies be directed into community development funds, such as a permanent, irrevocable trust fund. The trust fund, in turn, would be under the oversight of a board of directors made up of corporate employees and community leaders. "
In 1999 he had the opportunity to prove the concept, when sourcing the Tomsk Regional Initiative in Siberia.
Moving on to Crimea in 2002, he applied it to the cause of Crimea's Tatar community,he would describe the business model as a Community Funding Enterprise, a business using its profit to serve the interests of those in poverty.
In 2003, the model was introduced to the UK with a proposal to tackle poverty and the "digital divide"
"Traditional capitalism is an insufficient economic model allowing monetary outcomes as the bottom line with little regard to social needs. Bottom line must be taken one step further by at least some companies, past profit, to people. How profits are used is equally as important as creation of profits. Where profits can be brought to bear by willing individuals and companies to social benefit, so much the better. Moreover, this activity must be recognized and supported at government policy level as a badly needed, essential, and entirely legitimate enterprise activity.”
Interviewed about his work in Crimea, he was asked to describe the model:
"The P-CED model is not a charity sort of operation. It is business. What we choose to do with profits is entirely up to us, and we choose before anything else happens to set most of our profits aside to assist poor people. In fact, our corporate charter requires us by law - UK law, where rule of law is very well established - to use our profits only for social benefit. We cannot do anything else with it."
By 2004 he'd return to Ukraine where the Orange revolution was just beginning, It would lead to his revelationas about corruption in childcare and 'Death Camps for Childten'
With the delivery of a 'Marshall Plan' to Ukraine's goverment in 2007, once more he made the case for people before profit:
'This is a long-term permanently sustainable program, the basis for "people-centered" economic development. Core focus is always on people and their needs, with neediest people having first priority – as contrasted with the eternal chase for financial profit and numbers where people, social benefit, and human well-being are often and routinely overlooked or ignored altogether. This is in keeping with the fundamental objectives of Marshall Plan: policy aimed at hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. This is a bottom-up approach, starting with Ukraine's poorest and most desperate citizens, rather than a "top-down" approach that might not ever benefit them. They cannot wait, particularly children. Impedance by anyone or any group of people constitutes precisely what the original Marshall Plan was dedicated to opposing. Those who suffer most, and those in greatest need, must be helped first -- not secondarily, along the way or by the way. '
He died there in 2011, where the civic activiats he worked alongside at Maidan paid tribute to his efforts and shared part of his appeal to US governmenrt for support:
"The author of breakthru report “Death camps for children” Terry Hallman suddenly died of grave disease on Aug 18 2011. On his death bed he was speaking only of his mission – rescuing of these unlucky kids. His dream was to get them new homes filled with care and love. His quest would be continued as he wished."
The question about purpose and business has been much discussed since. John Mackey of Wholefoods Inc, would ask the same question.
The question would be asked again and again. Most recently by one of the founders of the B Corporation movement who asks - What is the role of business in society?.
"We are beginning to see an evolution in capitalism, from a 20th century view that the purpose of business is to maximize value for shareholders to a shared view that the purpose of business is to maximize value for society. Significantly, this transition is being driven, not by government regulation, institutional blame, or partisanship, but by market-based activism and personal responsibility. We are witnessing an historical moment when, rather than simply debating the role of government in the economy or the role of business in society, people are taking action to harness the power of business to solve society's greatest challenges. "
It was almost 20 years ago, that P-CED reasoned
"Economics, and indeed human civilization, can only be measured and calibrated in terms of human beings. Everything in economics has to be adjusted for people, first, and abandoning the illusory numerical analyses that inevitably put numbers ahead of people, capitalism ahead of democracy, and degradation ahead of compassion.
Each of us who have a choice can choose what we want to do to help or not. It is free-will, our choice, as human beings."