PROFESSOR ATUL K. SHAH www.atulkshah.co.uk
Globally renowned expert advisor and broadcaster on culture, accounting, finance, business ethics, holistic education and leadership
Decades of research, teaching and business engagement have led me to write this book, which helps deal with our current planetary crisis by exposing not only what is wrong with finance, but more importantly how it can be improved. Contemporary economics has been a chainsaw on society and environment, and this needs to be reversed. Fortunately, many sustainable cultures and leaders in finance are hiding in plain sight – their wisdom needs to be shared widely and encouraged. That is what this book provides in a very practical way, through stories and real-life examples and case studies.
Examples of people interviewed for the research include:
Dr. Abhay Firodia, whose father invented the three-wheeler auto-rickshaw, which is now Asia’s cheapest and most popular public transport vehicle
Lord Andrew Phillips, a lawyer and proponent of sustainable communities, with a passion for ethical finance leadership
Francine McKenna, a Professor at Wharton and long-standing champion of ethical accounting and finance, with forensic research on the audit failures of Big 4 global accounting firms
Lord Prem Sikka, an expert on the political economy of finance and the resulting inequalities and the significant ethical challenges for accounting and finance research and professional training.
Mr. Vallabh Bhanshali, Indias top investment banker, known for a disciplined, purposeful and ethical approach to investment advice and employee empowerment
Their life experiences and true stories expose how a new method of researching and teaching accounting and finance, which places culture, character and belief at the centre, is urgently needed given our global challenges. The interviewees also raise suspicions about the new shamans of sustainability, whether it is ESG or Net Zero consultants who advocate change through spin rather than addressing the cultural and systemic changes needed. Another focus in this entire book is on communities, which even Professor Rajan of University of Chicago admits are key to a reformed finance. Communities can become epicentres of a trusted, honourable and responsible finance, where sustainability is hard-wired into the culture and relationships. The word ‘trust’ is absent from most modern finance textbooks, yet its centrality in sustainable finance cannot be underestimated. This book shows how trust can be converted into a ripple where it grows and spreads, rather than being depleted and undermined.
The book contains five chapters, on the themes of morality, tradition, community, experience and purpose. Each chapter and the related themes empower readers to search within their own history and traditions to unlock a time when money was not central and if used, it was put in its place rather than allowed to overwhelm economic life. Society is presently flooded by materialism. Many readers will recall their own personal story in this book and find new meaning and purpose in their leadership roles.
Here is an example testimonial:
There is only one person in the world who could write a book which roams from indigenous traditions to Christianity; from Jainism to Islam while at the same time dismantling the myths and legends that lie behind contemporary economics. In a fascinating journey through the riches that lie just below the surface in all the great faith and cultural traditions, Professor Shah asks us to listen again to ancient wisdom which has more to say about who we are and why we need to invest in a sustainable world than any UN declaration or economist forecast. Read this and discover hidden treasures of wisdom and see a potentially radically realisable different world.
Martin Palmer, Founder, BBC broadcaster and CEO, Faith Invest and author of twenty books
I am available for speaking about the book and research findings at corporate or professional conferences and events, and networks of diversity within firms can benefit from such a unique perspective. The presentation will be visual and interactive, and the stories will make the ideas understandable and accessible. Feel free to contact me for an initial conversation.
You can read a full summary and testimonials of the book here.
To order the book click here.