Was the question Herman Mulder asked Michel Scholte (both Worldconnectors) when he declared that he would never sell his soul to the devil. The devil being any corporation that is (deliberately) damaging the world. But by merely “renting out” his soul, Michel could perhaps inspire the professionals within such a corporation to change their ways, Herman Mulder claimed.
In a way, that is what Herman Mulder did himself. Herman is a retired banker that spend the past decade of his working life changing the ways of ABN Amro and the financial sector as a whole. He received his wake-up call in 1998, when Milieudefensie confronted ABN Amro with the fact that it was financing a highly harmful mining project in Indonesia. The insight that came with this incident made Herman a pioneer within the world of sustainable banking.
After a long and frustrating process of introducing a wider scope of criteria while evaluating a financial project within the ABN AMRO self, he initiated the ground-breaking voluntary financial sector-initiative “the Equator Principles for project finance”(now adopted by more than 50 major financial institutions ). The Equator Principles consist of 60 social and environmental guidelines that were voluntary introduced by the financial sector self.
Mchel Scholte initiated an inspiration dinner last night, were he invited Herman Mulder so he could share his experience and insight during an intimate gathering . Location; the 1%CLUB Amsterdam office. The discussion about selling your soul was triggered by the question whether it was better to change the existing companies from inside out or to create a whole new system all together. The students that were present, all of them high potentials, were rather reluctant in working for a boss, including Michel that already has his own company NOEN. Michel conclusion was that renting out his soul would also be too much to ask also. Being and working in an environment that is already a frontrunner is too important for him at this moment.
Interesting. What is more worthwhile; restarting from the scratch or rebuilding the existing organizations and companies?