Journalist, author and political analyst Anand Giridharadas has made quite a name for himself ruffling the feathers of the global elite – an elite of which he is ashamed to be a part.
In his acclaimed book Winners Take All, Anand offers a scorching analysis of the self-styled change-makers who he believes only succeed in propping up a system that favours their interests – giving from one pocket while filling the other, with wealth acquired via a rigged economy. He vilifies the billionaire philanthropists who set themselves up as champions of humanity while propping up the broken system that put them at its top.
For Anand the turning point came when, at the 2015 Aspen Institute conference, surrounded by the great and good, he gave a talk exposing the hypocrisy of his audience, and of himself. News of Anand’s talk spread, and those arguments eventually became his book: Winners Take All. In the book he ridicules the concept of ‘win-win’: the idea that there’s no tension between doing well for yourself and doing good for others.
As a community of purpose-driven businesspeople, these questions should be at the heart of our personal reflections. Can we look ourselves in the mirror and say that we’re not guilty of these same double standards? Is it enough to just ‘do more good’? Or should we shift our priorities to doing less systemic harm instead? These are tough questions.
At our Meaning Spotlight, award-winning Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrabortty asked Anand Giridharadas to explain and expand upon the arguments he puts forward in his book.
Winners Take All is a spirited examination of the hubris and hypocrisy of the super-rich who claim they are helping the world.
Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian
Giridharadas takes a swipe at the global elite in a trenchant, provocative and well-researched book about the people who are notionally generating social change . . . Read it and beware.
Martha Lane Fox, Financial Times Books of the Year
In Anand’s thought-provoking book his fresh perspective on solving complex societal problems is admirable. I appreciate his commitment and dedication to spreading social justice.
Bill Gates, billionaire philanthropist