The Corporation by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott

I was inspired by last publication about the documentary I watched on human trafficking, I saw how simple it was as an exercise to watch an interesting documentary and to write something about it. I thought that if for every documentary I watched that showed a problem, and then I try to find a solution for it, or simply question it, try to find its bias or highlight something that I had never realized before, then this simple exercise could make me develop my creativity, analytical skills and critical, objective thinking. I now have the time to do it, since I took a year off school. And almost everyday I am satiating my curiosity to learn something new, I proposed to myself what about committing myself to make sure that I learnt something new before I go to bed? Like, even having a checkbox in every day of my agenda that I can check before going to bed and say to myself “ok, today I learnt something new”. It can be a simple new word, or a more developed idea.


So, yesterday I watched the documentary “The Corporation” by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. 2 words: Must & Watch. I felt relieved to be able to understand a little bit more what today’s power dynamics are all about. For some periods in history it has been (and still is) important to understand how certain establishments function like the church, the military, monarchy and feudality, etc. These still play an important role today, but understanding how corporations work today   is essential to understand power.

One of the most significant moments of reflection for me as I watched this documentary was when a CEO was talking about the time when he didn’t know how to respond to his client’s questions when they asked what his company was doing to protect the environment. He was looking for ways to revolutionize his company and develop an environmentally-friendly vision, and said: «but I didn’t have an environmental vision». And when he said those words the first thing that came to my mind was schooling.

I thought about our current “education” system as partly responsible for environmental decay in the world. Yes. Many children and young adults today in “developed” countries have spent at least half of their life time, excluding sleep time, in a classroom setting, far from trees, plants, animals, and simply the view of the sky sometimes. I do not remember ever learning the names of the trees that surround me for example, nor watching any documentary or getting any simple explanation about how the agricultural industry works and the process that it takes for my vegetables and my meat to get to my table.  After school, if I want to play outside (of course if I live in a secure and natural place), as the years pass I have less and less time to do it with the amount of homework increasing.

So, I thought: Yea, this is a serious problem, because now those who will for example get a MBA, and I don’t want to generalize, but I could say a big part of graduates, as they get to the end of “school” have lost almost all contact with nature throughout the years and understand very few about how our natural environment really works. So, many educated people in business are miss-educated/non-educated about the environment! And therefore it is obviously more difficult to create something that doesn’t harm the environment!

Then, I thought about a possible solution and some “crazy” ideas, because I saw the cases of many business people that had never visited the factories where the products they sold were made : What if one of the conditions to obtain an MBA was that every graduate should travel to and visit various corporations’ factories around the world, where they will have to make a report on working conditions (hour pay, length of daily shifts, hygiene, break time, treatment of employees, etc.) as well as on environmental conditions and public health conditions around those factories, for example soil and water toxicity, death rate, air pollution? I wonder what the effects of this idea would be in a country where it was implemented in every university…


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