3 TED Talks that Look at How Business, Finance Can Be a Force for Good

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Since they first started gaining in popularity, TED Talks have long been looked at as inspirational and educational. They’re designed to teach their listeners a thing or two and to inspire them to be better people in the process. And, while there are many great TED talks out there, there are some particularly awesome ones for business owners and for those in the finance sector.

If you’re in one of these categories or aspire to be, there are definitely some TED Talks you’ll want to check out because not only can they provide you with helpful information toward reaching your goals, but they can also show you how your endeavors or your future endeavors can help others. There were a lot of good TED Talks to choose from, but we managed to narrow it down to three must-listen Talks.

TED Talk #1: Audrey Choi’s “Why We Need to Prioritize Investing for Social Change”

The first talk on our list comes from Audrey Choi, who currently serves as the chief executive of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing. In her talk, Choi discusses how most consumers don’t really know how to make sustainable choices with their investing and general financial choices and often aren’t really willing to make the effort to learn how.


Instead, Choi says, they tend to make simple purchases they see as sustainable, such as purchasing recyclable cups or opting for hybrid vehicles. Choi encourages investors to do more than just buy sustainable but to invest sustainably as well. She illustrates how this has worked for businesses and how it can still work for other businesses and for consumers as well.

TED Talk #2: Michael Porter’s “Why Business Can Be Good at Solving Social Problems”

Michael Porter is a Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, so obviously, the man knows a lot about business. He also, as it happens, knows how to give a heck of a good TED Talk.

In the above mentioned talk, Porter explains how and why businesses need to do more than just do business…they need, he says, to address social challenges. He mentions challenges such as climate change and inadequate nutrition but notes that any change worth happening is a change that businesses should consider investing in.

He says businesses should tackle this responsibility because they have the power to create resources, bring in funding that can be used on social spending, and partner with society as a whole, and he provides practical means for businesses to start doing all of these very important things.

TED Talk #3: Christine Bader’s “The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist”

Finally, rounding out our list, is a talk from Christine Bader, Amazon’s Director of Social Responsibility. In her talk, Bader explores how “corporate idealists,” meaning people who want to advance their businesses but who also want to do social good at the same time, actually do exist but are often overshadowed by others who are only out for gain or by mistakes that have been made, even by people with good intentions, in the past.

She discusses her own personal experiences with such failures, as well as her own successes, and gives much-needed insight into how and why companies fail in their social-minded endeavors and how they can overcome these challenges and have success that benefits both them and the world as a whole.

These, of course, are just a few of many great TED Talks for the business and finance minded who also want to play a part in helping the world, but they are an excellent start!


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