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Offer: The Morality of Profit writing contest

The SEVEN Fund is sponsoring a global competition inviting discourse on the morality of profit. During this yearlong program, we seek to assemble the definitive collection of essays on this topic. Writers are asked to submit essays of up to 3,000 words. Initial submissions will be accepted through February 28, 2010. SEVEN will award top honors to three essays, with a grand prize of $20,000, a second prize of $10,000, and a third prize of $5,000. The best pieces will be collected into a manuscript, which is intended for publication, and the program will culminate with an international conference in 2010.

A discussion of the morality of profit is timely. In the current global economic crisis, some critics have identified greed camouflaged as profit as the central culprit. This raises important questions such as:
Are markets moral?
Is profit a means, or an end?
What is the relationship between greed and profit?
Can the pursuit of profit be understood as a good in itself or a necessary evil?
What are our core ethical responsibilities as we seek profits?
What are the implications of the morality of profit to the cause of international development, and enterprise solutions to poverty?
The debate on profit is polarized along a spectrum, ranging from the pursuit of profit as the root of societal problems, to suggesting that profit is the only responsible measure of how to deploy resources and solve problems. In practical terms, we know that economic transformation requires invigorated markets that generate substantial profits. These tensions drive us to invite considered reflection on these issues. We are looking for submissions that examine all questions surrounding the morality of profit; that elevate the discussion; and that illuminate inflection points in the broader debate by exploring how this tension informs the key issues of our time (e.g. understanding the economic crisis, solving global poverty, stimulating entrepreneurship in poor countries, the environment, etc.).
SEVEN welcomes the submission of essays that explore the morality of profit through the lens of diverse cultural, religious, philosophical, and academic traditions.

The Morality of Profit project is open to all potential contributors internationally. We welcome authors from all fields, disciplines, and professions. This is a global competition; US citizens and non-US citizens are welcome to participate.



A discussion of the differences between reasonable profit and camoflauged greed will be an interesting broadening of the conversation of wealth re-distribution. Long term sustainability of a profitable enterprise also comes into play in deciding how much is enough. Many seemingly profitable business models didn't have enough reserves for this cylical economy.

Tom Schneider

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