Corporations hold tremendous amounts of private sector capital and have the power to bolster economic prosperity by investing in critical industries and communities. Since the inception of the corporation, policymakers have debated to what degree corporations should be held to a standard of social responsibility. This issue is particularly relevant given the fragile state of the American economy and public concerns regarding economic opportunity. What is the purpose of the corporation in today’s society and economy? How should we think about corporate obligations and responsibilities? How do companies affect society, commerce and government?
On December 13, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted the first in a series of lectures examining the corporation in American society. David Langstaff, CEO of TASC, delivered a keynote address exploring the role of the corporation in today’s economy and how that role may evolve in the future. Following his presentation, a panel of experts, moderated by Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies, examined the purpose of the corporation as it relates to the current state of the economy and political climate.
After the program, speakers and panelists took audience questions.