by Lynn Forester de Rothschild at

In today’s world, buzzwords and marketing can overshadow the substance of commitments to inclusive capitalism and a sustainable future. Yet, rising above transient terminology and the latest trends also frees us to focus on the timeless principles guiding our journey toward more inclusive growth.

I recently had the honor of discussing these themes with the next generation of leaders at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, where I gave a talk as part of the Future of Capitalism course taught by Council for Inclusive Capitalism Advisor and former TIAA CEO, Roger Ferguson.

As Roger, his MBA students, and I discussed, to shape the future of capitalism, we need to understand its historical and philosophical underpinnings, which for centuries reinforced the moral imperative of a system intended to benefit everyone. Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, believed that free markets allow people to pursue their own interests while contributing to the common good—a balance we must strive to achieve in our contemporary world. By aligning historic principles with modern innovations, we can accomplish this.

The future of capitalism poses a challenge that transcends the confines of any classroom, C-suite, or conference. Capitalism should inspire a virtuous cycle where companies, civic society, and communities aim for the common good of all stakeholders while also fostering long-term financial value.