The mission of the Center for the Study of Capitalism is to explore the dynamic power of capitalism and especially its role shaping the 21st century and the future of humanity.

Wake Forest University’s motto, Pro Humanitate, “in the service of humanity,” encourages us to serve humanity by continuously developing our skills and abilities and applying them to problems in the world we care about.  Business and capitalism go hand-in-hand and, in the best sense, both serve humanity.  Business allows people to express a natural aptitude for solving problems they care about though the creation of new products and services.  Then, using markets as a mechanism to exchange with others, business channels individual self-interest towards outcomes that create broadly shared prosperity.  Under capitalism, problem-solvers profit from their contributions—they enjoy the right to own part of the tangible and intangible benefits of their efforts.

Free markets support individual flourishing, meritocracy, diversity and democracy.  Yet, the 21st century is marked by increasing technological complexity and growing concern about the roles of business and government with regards to the environment; our health; education; and existing family, governance, and business systems. As technology, for example, enables surveillance capitalism, what does this mean for a system striving to support both individual privacy and democracy?

Wake Forest’s Center for the Study of Capitalism funds interdisciplinary research and outreach that explores and communicates the role of capitalism and free markets in four critical areas—environment, health, education, and systems—for the 21st century.  We also develop tools and informed discussions for life-long learners. Our goal is that business students will consider how they can proactively shape the world they live in and contribute to human prosperity.