Whole Foods Market co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey will speak from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in the inaugural Lewis E. Harris Lecture. The event, sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration and the University of Nebraska College of Law, is free and open to the public.
“The new, endowed Harris Lecture Series allows us to bring in major speakers like John Mackey,” said Donde Plowman, CBA dean. “This is the first one, and we hope to have a large crowd for this meaningful lecture. I am grateful to the Harris family for helping make this event possible.”
Mackey’s supermarket chain became the first in the United States certified as an organic grocer. He authored the 2013 book “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” which appeared on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
“Conscious capitalism supports four key principles: higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious leadership and conscious culture,” Plowman said. “John defends both business and capitalism as inherently good. He challenges business leaders to reimagine capitalism, and encourages a way of doing business grounded in ethical consciousness.”
Mackey’s focus on building a more conscious way of doing business resulted in the fast rise of Whole Foods across the United States. The company is a $14 billion Fortune 500 company with more than 410 stores and 88,000 team members in three countries. He has received honors such as Ernst and Young’s United States Entrepreneur of the Year, Institutional Investor’s Best CEO in America, Barron’s World’s Best CEO and Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year and one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
Mackey created the Whole Planet Foundation to help end poverty in developing nations. He also launched the Local Producer Loan Program to help local farmers expand their businesses.