TEDxBasqueCountry - Bernard Mariette - Faire de l'argent en faisant du bien

Uploaded by TEDxTalks on 16.01.2011

Making money while doing good, or doing good while making money,
I’m sure if I ask around the room if there are some people who agree with me there are some of you who may not raise your hand;
Making money while doing good, is not the dominant model in the world right now.
So what is the dominant model? There are three in the world right now:
The first one, which is by far the most widespread, is making money, just making money.
The second, which has been developing in the US with billionaires such as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet,
is making money in the first part your life, and, after amassing a lot of money, starting philanthropic ventures.
The third model that exists since the dawn of time
is doing good but making no money.
So the question is why?
Why do we think making money while doing well
is probably something that should be successful in the future,
but almost no one is implementing this model?
I think there are two reasons for this.
The first one is that a dominant system, by definition dominates.
What does that mean? That means the system creates its own rules,
creates its own protections so that no other system will ever disrupt it.
It kills creativity and it kills innovation.
The second reason is the fear of change.
We all fear change, we like to live in our own comfort zone,
we like our habits, we are predictable which is reassuring to each of us.
These two reasons are two fundamental reasons why we don’t have this third model.
I was fortunate enough in my life to be able to go out of my comfort zone on several occasions.
The first was a childhood passion.
The little guy with the cute socks is me,
I am 5 years old with my dad at the air base in Orange,
and I fall in love with the fighter jet behind me and I want to become a jet fighter pilot.
I am very determined and that is all I can think about until I turn 18.
When I turn 18 years old I enroll in the Superior School of Aeronautic,
it is the antechamber of the French Air Force
and I am close to reaching my goal I will be a pilot.
18 months later I find out that I am short-sighted,
which is not really big deal for most people, but for me it’s a disaster
since I will not be a jet fighter pilot.
I can be an engineer or a pilot for commercial planes.
I refuse and say to myself if I can’t be a jet fighter pilot
pilot then I want to do something totally different from flying planes.
I get lucky and discover a real mature passion for business.
I start all over and go to a business school, and
because I am worth it
I integrate one of France’s best companies
I work 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year to such a great extent that one Christmas I forget that it is Christmas and I am still working.
I come home and my mother is crying and I say to myself it doesn’t make sense to work just for the sake of working
or for the sake of climbing the social ladder.
So again I am very lucky, I end up in the Basque Country and
I have the chance to meet incredible people with whom we are going to develop an industry, surfing.
Catherine Deneuve gave me this picture and unfortunately it is not me behind her
but it Joel DeRoney who is teaching her to surf.
What Joel hasn’t told you is that he was France’s top surfer in the early 60s, I think 1961.
So somebody before me had already discovered this formidable lifestyle filled with love and passion.
So for 15 years everything is magical.
Surfing which is a confidential sport becomes a world phenomenon,
there is not one teenager in the world who is not passionate about surfing
and has not integrated surfing in his or her life.
The company develops and makes a lot of money and employs more and more people.
Our shareholders get richer, everyone gets richer, shareholders and speculators.
But one day everything stops, everything stops for me, and once again I get very lucky.
At the time it happened, it is a catastrophe for me and I feel like the world is ending,
I tell myself it is not fair that I left some people behind, we have in this company for 15 years.
But very very quickly I realize that I have a passion for business and that I want to start over,
I tell myself I need to start over, in a different way, in a more solid way and in a more generous way.
I need to bring something even better to the world in the future.
So I open my eyes to the world and make 3 findings.
The first is that our world is very fragile.
1 % of negative economical growth which is what happened,
just 1 %, and it ended being the biggest financial and economical disaster the world has ever experienced.
If the earth was 1 degree hotter, we would experience an ecological disaster which we may not recover from.
If we have 1% growth in population,
our current natural resources will not suffice to feed and provide electricity for everyone on earth.
If the entire planet consumed the way westerners do, we would not 5 planets worth of natural resources.
Even more terrible, there are 1 billion obese people on the planet and there are also 1 billion people suffering from hunger.
That is my first finding.
The second is the absurdity in the evolution of our economic model.
There’s a sentence which I did not come up with but which really summarizes this absurdity.
Companies, Banks and governments push people to buy things,
with money they don’t have,
products they don’t need
to impress people they don’t care about.
I did not write this sentence but I fully support it because I think
it reflects very well what is happening today in our world
and especially reflects the waste and mess surrounding us today.
The third finding is a positive one, which is that we have the chance
to witness an industrial and technological revolution and that
with new means of communication, new solutions arise and new doors open.
I am sure all of you know what I am talking about when
I mention these findings and I am sure all of you had time to ponder about them.
But I really think that we do not have the right to simply disregard these findings,
we all need to get away from our comfort zone,
not in the same way I did, but we all need to get away from our comfort zone and address these problems.
I looked around the world and traveled around the world to see
how people address and find solutions to these types of problems.
I will you three examples of people I have met.
The first is Mohamed Yunus, in the middle of this picture.
He decided, even though we all know (and I am sorry for bankers in the room)
but we all know that bankers only lend to rich people,
he decided he would do the opposite and only lend to poor women.
In 20 years, he brought millions of people out of poverty in his country
and on top of that his company Grameen Bank makes a lot of money.
The second example which relates much more to us,
is Merci which is in Paris.
The founders of Bonpoint created an incredible store
which is managed like a typical business, actually maybe better than a typical business,
which transfers all of its profits to charities.
The last one is very close to me since Blake is one of my close friends,
he created the company Toms.
His idea is to say that: I travelled the world and found out that
there is a huge number of children that get diseases from walking around unhealthy places,
so if they had shoes they wouldn’t get sick.
he created a company which sells shoes, sort of like Basque shoes
and for each pair of shoe that he sells he also gives one away to children in need of shoes.
Today, 4 years later he has given away more than 1 million pairs of shoes.
that’s three examples and I have seen dozens and dozens which is the good news.
So from these examples and other ones I decided to put down on paper
the principles of the system in which I wanted to see evolve.
There are 3 main principles.
The first is that when we want to do good,
but first we need to decide specifically what good you want to do
since you cannot simply do good in general, integrate it in our business model
and also make it very clear in the minds of everyone what you intend to do.
The second principle is to anchor this concept deep down in the center of the culture of the company.
Not only do good, not only make money but do both at the same time.
We need to share this with shareholders,
share this with suppliers and
share this with the employees.
In job descriptions today we see lists of various workloads
and objectives but we never see the concept of doing good.
The third principle which I treasure dearly,
is that today the act of consuming is an act of destruction which generates a huge waste.
We need to transform this act of consuming into an act of investing.
What does it mean?
When we make a product or a service,
this product or service needs to have a strong usage value.
So these three principles seem simple but they are very hard to integrate,
and I am fully aware that they are much easier
to implement in a startup then in a large company established many years ago.
I am also fully aware that critics will say right away:
Bernard your system is not viable,
your system is not realist,
you are going to increase costs and decrease profits
if people start thinking about things other than work.
In fact their system is not viable, and
their system is not realist on the long term.
In terms of cost it is very simple, it is a reallocation
of cost on a classical operating account,
you need to right away decide: I will do this, therefore I cannot do this.
For example, marketing today basically is:
I sell great oranges for cheap.
The word of mouth created from a product
and doing good is much stronger than any marketing campaign.
If you say to your neighbor, I bought this product
it’s incredible and on top of that this company gives back to poor people in Ethiopia.
This person will tell this person and quickly this will be nation-wide.
Today the means of communication such as facebook,
twitter and others have connected the world in a way
that word of mouth can occur almost instantaneously.
Imagine if Procter and Gamble which spends 10 billion dollars on marketing,
decide to cut in half their marketing budget and
to spend 5 billion dollars to do good.
5 billion dollars is bigger than the global budget of the Red Cross.
Instantaneously they would become the number 1 philanthropic organization.
So imagine also how people would view their brand
and what they would say to others about their products,
it would be much stronger than any marketing campaign.
On the productivity front, it would be the opposite,
when people work because they know they are doing good
and they are going to better the world, their motivation increases
greatly and the motor which fuels them to work is much stronger,
they are transcended by the cause for which they work.
So this economic model socially and ecologically functions much better
than other ones in the long term.
I am totally aware that it is not easy for big companies to do this
but that it is much easier when your start an entity.
But I really think that we need to hurry and push
this system towards an equilibrium of making money and doing good,
if we do not push this system from minority to majority
we will be pushed against the wall.
Thank you