The following excerpt was written by The Aspen Institute’s Judith Samuelson in memory of Lynn Stout, Distinguished Professor of Corporate Business Law at Cornell Law School. Click below to read Judith’s full piece.
“It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The Old Story—the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it—is not functioning properly, and we have not learned the New Story.” ~ Thomas Berry
Working alongside teacher and legal scholar Lynn Stout was like accessing a source of power with unlimited, rechargeable energy. Her passion for delving into complex problems was contagious. Her work ethic was legion. And she put these qualities towards some of the most important questions of our age – why do corporations exist? What should they aim to do? And if we want to enlist companies to tackle societal problems of significance, what are the key principles of law, business and finance that need to be “disrupted” to embrace a new reality?
How do we move from the Old Story to a New Story—to enroll business as an agent of public benefit?