Corporate Social Activism and the New Business of Change

4 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2022 Last revised: 18 Oct 2022

See all articles by Tom C. W. Lin

Tom C. W. Lin

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: August 8, 2022


Businesses and business executives are at the frontlines of some of the most important and contentious issues of our time, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, voting rights, gun violence, racial justice, climate change, and gender equity. The days when activists focused on moral fights over social issues while businesses concentrated on the amoral pursuit of commercial profit are gone. Through pronouncements, policies, boycotts, sponsorships, lobbying, investments, and divestments, businesses and business leaders are directly engaging with many of the most significant challenges confronting modern society. This is the new reality of capitalism and activism in America.

This article adapted from my book, The Capitalist and the Activist, offers a brief look at the new reality of corporate social activism—its roots, driving forces, promises and perils, and larger implications for law, business, and society.

Keywords: Corporate Social Activism, Corporate Activism, CEO Activism, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, Social Entrepreneurship, Philanthrocapitalism, Impact Investing, ESG, DEI, Corporate Political Rights, Social Impact, Social Activism, Social Change, Woke Capitalism

Suggested Citation

Lin, Tom C. W., Corporate Social Activism and the New Business of Change (August 8, 2022). 68 Practical Lawyer 7 (August 2022), Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-18, Available at SSRN:

Tom C. W. Lin (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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