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3Pillar Global CEO: Put humanity, and the humanities, back in business

February 12, 2020, 5:11 PM UTC

Have businesses become obsessed with investing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines to the exclusion of nurturing education that cultivates the ability to think critically?

In 10 years, leaders will look back and question why corporations invested so much in prioritizing STEM skills without balancing that knowledge with the critical thinking skills a formal humanities education can provide, predicts David DeWolf, president and CEO of digital software development company 3Pillar Global.

“I think this is important and relevant because of the world we live in with A.I. these days,” DeWolf tells FORTUNE senior special correspondent Susie Gharib. “When you look at machine learning and artificial intelligence, you see all sorts of moral and ethical questions being raised about how does this impact jobs, how does this impact people? I think we need young professionals to be grounded in humanities to help us to navigate how these technologies apply to our human lives.”

DeWolf’s perspective may seem odd for a software development organization that, by its own estimate, has its hand in digital services consumed daily by an estimated 50-75% of Americans—from the code that allows Downtown Abbey enthusiasts to binge-watch their favorite episodes to the algorithms underlying the ParkMobile parking app.

But the company’s thinking is shaped by its support for the concept of conscious capitalism, the idea espoused by a recent shift in thinking by the Business Roundtable that companies serve many stakeholders beyond its shareholders, including employees and the communities in which they do business. “We need to put the humanity back into business,” says DeWolf.

That shift will require focusing on different sorts of management metrics, says DeWolf. Among the ones that get 3Pillar’s attention: how many entrepreneurs have left the company’s ranks to found startups or how many employees have worked their way up through 3Pillar’s ranks.

Watch the full video for more of DeWolf’s insights on conscious capitalism.

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