2021 Stakeholder Capitalism Series Featuring Perry Chen (Founder of Kickstarter)

Perry Chen, founder of Kickstarter will offer his thoughts on a less extractive and more generative society.




Over the course of 2021, B4BW will host a number of dynamic conversations amongst CEOs, tri-sector leaders, faculty, and students, exploring stakeholder capitalism and how it can be applied to businesses in a world rife with persistent inequality, social injustice, racial bias, and environmental degradation.

Like much in our society, the gospel of shareholder capitalism – the belief that the sole purpose of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders – is currently experiencing a long-overdue reexamination and upheaval. Businesses must change their practices to meet the changing values and expectations of today, not retreat to what is comfortable or easy. The 2021 Stakeholder Capitalism Series will help ensure forward progress is maintained, and our intent is to drive stakeholder capitalism further into the mainstream and change the trajectory of our corporations.

As part of this series, B4BW welcomes Perry Chen on Thursday, October 7 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Principally, Chen’s work revolves around systems. His studio practice often explores how we negotiate a world of growing complexity and uncertainty, using research and archival material as entry points for engagement.

Drawing on his interest in systems, his work also focuses on the creation — and possibilities — of new formats for generative social exchange and collaboration. In 2009, Chen created the website Kickstarter as a way for fellow artists and musicians to raise money for their creative work. Since then, over 200,000 creative projects have been funded through Kickstarter.

Chen is also known for his engagement around the problems of profit-centric systems; specifically the need for better structures, tools, and institutions to enable a more generative and less extractive society. In 2015, he spearheaded Kickstarter’s conversion to a Public Benefit Corporation, legally formalizing the company’s long held commitment to its mission — to help creative projects come to life — over optimizing for profit.

A long-time critic of the attention economy, Chen served on the Knight Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy from 2017-18 to examine and make recommendations in response to the collapse in trust in U.S. democratic institutions, media, journalism, and the information ecosystem. In 2018, he was honored by The Center for Democracy & Technology for his commitment “to shaping a world where the internet and technology improve lives and propel human creativity.”

Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013.

He was born and raised in New York City, and is currently based in Paris.

The event is finished.


Oct 07 2021


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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