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National Event

IoD Online: Greed is Dead - In Conversation with the Noted Economist John Kay

27 Apr 2021
Online webinar, Online
We are at the peak of greed and individualism, which has shaped both sides of the political spectrum – the political right and  the political left. The so called economic man who was greedy, lazy, selfish and smart and ran large corporate giants, could not bear the load of morality. The damage done to the society is well evidenced. Extreme individualism took over and the mutuality took a hit. An exaggerated belief in the power of models to understand our world has imbued political and business leaders with overconfidence. The combination of individual selfishness and overconfident top-down management has damaged our societies.

Throughout history, successful societies have created institutions which channel both competition and co-operation to achieve complex goals of general benefit. These institutions make the difference between prosperous and poor economies, between societies that thrive and those paralysed by discord. Such societies are pluralist, but their pluralism is disciplined. However, successful societies are also rare and fragile. We could not have built modernity without the exceptional competitive and co-operative instincts of humans, but in the recent decades the balance between these instincts has become dangerously skewed. Mutuality has been undermined by an extreme individualism which has weakened co-operation and polarised our politics. Covid 19 has shown that the people felt the need to pull together in a national crisis in our country. However, we have already seen the differences in response, the results of both differences in the authority of the state and the degree of social cohesion in different societies. Variations in the relative power of the state, the influence of culture and values, and the sense of community relative to the strength of individualist sentiments have played a significant part in shaping the pandemic responses in different countries.

This conversation “Greed is Dead” with John Kay will acknowledge the peak of individualism observed by us both in politics and business. John will seamlessly shift between political and business worlds and analyse the rise of individualism and its deep routed and long lasting impacts. He will also make the point that the extreme individualism embraced by many prominent and successful people in recent decades, and which sought justification in terms of merit or celebrity, is no longer intellectually tenable. John believes that there is no inherent tension between community and market. Markets can function effectively only when embedded in a network of social relations. He will show us how a reaffirmation of the values of morality could refresh and restore politics, business and the environments in which people live. As the world emerges from an unprecedented crisis, we have the chance to examine society afresh and build business and politics beyond individualism.

The Institute of Directors
invites you to join this conversation with the noted economist John Kay on 27th April. This will be a thought provoking and engaging conversation anchored by Raj Singh, Chairman - Institute of Directors Berkshire and will have a 30 minute session in the end where the audience will be invited to ask their own questions to John.

Key details

Date & time: 27 Apr 2021 09:00 - 10:00
Location: Online webinar, Online
CPD Hours:

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Event manager:
Mrs Julie Jones
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John Kay

John Kay is an economist whose career has spanned the academic world, business and finance, and public affairs. He has held chairs at the London Business School, the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics and is a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, where he began his academic career in 1970. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

John is a director of several public companies and a contributing editor of the Financial Times. He chaired the Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision-Making which reported to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in July 2012. He is the author of many books, including The Truth about Markets (2003), The Long and the Short of It (2009, new revised edition 2016) and Obliquity (2010). His book, Other People’s Money was published by Profile Books and (in North America) by Public Affairs in September 2015, was a book of the year for Bloomberg, The Economist and the Financial Times, winner of the Saltire Literary Prize for non-fiction, and was short-listed for the Orwell Prize for political writing. His book, Radical Uncertainty, jointly written with Lord Mervyn King, was published in March 2020 just before Greed is Dead, written with Paul Collier and published in July 2020.  More details about John can be found here.

Raj Singh

Raj Singh is the Chairman of IoD Berkshire. He is a member of the supervisory board for Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership Forum and  a member of the Justice and Emergency Services Committee and UK-India Tech Forum of techUK. He is an advisor to the National Police Chief’s Council and a $5 billion private equity organisation, while running Innotatio, a boutique strategy and digital transformation consulting outfit.

Raj is an accomplished leader in strategy and digital transformation space with over 36 years of international industry experience, spanning 22 countries. He has taken businesses having tens of million turnover, on a journey to become half a billion dollar business, through successful deployment of blue ocean strategy. Raj has held executive management positions for multinational organisations like Oracle, Infor Group, HCL Technologies, Hexaware Technologies and Godrej. He is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. More details about Raj can be found here.



Prices from

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For this meeting we will be using Zoom video conferencing, if you wish to review their privacy policy please click here.

The IoD’s privacy policy can be found here which includes the  use of video conferencing, please note we will be recording this webinar.

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