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Whole Foods' John Mackey: We Must Change How We Think About Capitalism

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John Mackey pictured in front of a Whole Foods | Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press/Newscom, ChadPerez49

Today’s guest is John Mackey, the co-founder and former CEO of Whole Foods, who just released his memoir, The Whole Story: Adventures in Love, Life, and Capitalism. As befits the entrepreneur who revolutionized grocery shopping from a grim, pragmatic necessity into an exciting, multi-sensory adventure, Mackey’s story is far from conventional and we talk frankly about the failures, successes, and psychedelics he encountered while reshaping how Americans think about food, fitness, and free enterprise. We also discuss Love.Life, the chain of holistic health and wellness clubs he’s opening this summer.

00:00— Introduction
00:48— The Whole Story: Adventures in Love, Life, and Capitalism
03:45— Capitalism disrupts the status quo
07:57— Whole Foods’ bumpy start
15:02— How to foster rich environments for capitalism & innovation
19:00— Why socialism ALWAYS fails
21:05— John Mackey’s upbringing
26:38— Where is the next generation heading?
29:53— The Capitalism scapegoat
32:36— Ad:
34:27— LSD and other psychedelics
38:15— Applying “Expand into love, don’t contract into fear” to business
40:41— Conscious capitalism as a management philosophy
45:45— Unionization at Whole Foods
51:11— The pros & cons of selling Whole Foods to Amazon
59:48— Mackey’s new venture: Love.Life
01:05:19— John Mackey’s secrets to health
01:09:38— Capitalism: an infinite game

Previous appearances:

Whole Foods’ John Mackey: ‘I Feel Like Socialists Are Taking Over’, August 10, 2022
Can ‘Conscious Capitalism’ Make Business a Heroic Enterprise? John Mackey Is Betting Yes, August 14, 2018
Whole Foods’ John Mackey on Amazon Merger: ‘A Meeting of the Souls.’, March 30, 2018
Whole Foods’ John Mackey on Veganism, Gary Johnson, and How Regulation Is Stunting Innovation, August 16, 2016
Whole Foods’ John Mackey: Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism August 12, 2015
John Mackey on Whole Foods, Conscious Capitalism, and Life Beyond the Profit Motive, March 21, 2013
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the Moral Case for Capitalism, August 10, 2012
John Mackey’s Conscious Capitalism, Full Interview Version, October 14, 2009

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