Tim Leberecht is a German-American author, entrepreneur and former consultant. He is also a prolific and passionate voice on the humanisation of business. Co-founder and CEO of The Business Romantic Society consulting firm, which helps organisations and leaders make their strategy more human in the age of AI and automation, he is also behind the House of Beautiful Business annual gathering and global community. Its mission is to craft a positive vision for the future of work. We met him in Lisbon, “The House of Beautiful Business this year brought together 600 invite-only participants from business, technology, public sector, academia, and the arts and humanities to discuss, co-create, and imagine a more human future of our economies and societies.” Tim believes business can and must be more than the bottom line. Much of our world is measured in numbers and reduced to labels and mechanics but the basis for more beautiful business must be grown on a human scale.
This means questioning and reconnecting to the things that make us inherently human and begins with a new sentimental education. By literally bringing us back to our senses, we can begin developing human skills such as Aesthetic Intelligence, as one of this year’s residents Pauline Brown suggests, and Art Thinking, coined by another resident, Amy Whitaker. We suggest incorporating these skills, along with ethical and emotional integrity, at the foundation of why businesses exist.
To make this change happen, “we have invited experts with models for a collaborative economy, including co-ops and steward ownership models which make social maternalism a possible future of capitalism. Next to these structural models, not yet in the mainstream of business, we also reinforce the power of narratives and stories, making hope and bringing societies closer together again.” The main question remains whether there can be technological humanism. “We do believe in the agency of humans, both as individuals and as a collective. That said, we wouldn’t explicitly support the idea of a digital or technological humanism. To us, humanizing business does not go along with the idea of human centricity or “humanism” in this sense. We much more would like to propose a more balanced relationship of humans, technology within the planetary boundaries we all operate in.”
Tim Leberecht Author and entrepreneur Tim Leberecht is a co-founder and CEO of The Business Romantic Society. He also organises the annual “House of Beautiful Business” event in partnership con BCG Henderson Institute, Porsche and others. His publications include The Business Romantic (HarperCollins, 2015). He has been a senior advisor to the Europe Policy Group (WEF) and a co-founder and co-curator of the 15 Toasts dinner series.