Exclusive media partner: The New York Times


Receive regular updates about forthcoming events and other news from Intelligence Squared


You have been added to our mailing list and will now be among the first to hear about events.


Inside the Corporate Social Justice Scam with Vivek Ramaswamy

Corporate elites may want to sort us into demographic boxes, but we don't have to stay there.

We hear a lot about corporate social responsibility these days. Look at the website of any large corporation and you’ll see statements about diversity and inclusion, support for progressive political causes and a commitment to making the world a better place. But to Vivek Ramaswamy, much of this is a scam. Beneath the surface, he argues, you’ll find a cynical and hypocritical attempt by corporations to conceal a multitude of sins, from muzzling employees who criticise China to failing to protect their own women workers in countries with poor human rights. 

Unlike most critics of capitalism, Ramaswamy is not a man of the Left. A first-generation American and successful biotech entrepreneur, he has seen from the inside what he calls ‘the modern woke-industrial complex’ – corporate America’s game of pretending to care about social justice in order to make money. He believes that by mixing morality with consumerism, corporate elites prey on our insecurities about who we really are. They sell us cheap social causes and skin-deep identities to satisfy our hunger for a cause and our search for meaning, at a moment when we lack both.

On August 23 Ramaswamy came to Intelligence Squared to discuss the ideas in his new book Woke, Inc.: Inside the Social Justice Scam. As well as describing what he calls the hypocrisy of the new corporate agenda, he promises to show us a better way forward. Corporate elites may want to sort us into demographic boxes, he will claim, but we don’t have to stay there. Join us for an exploration of what it means to be a member of society in 2021: a journey that Ramaswamy says begins with cynicism and ends with hope.


Praise for Woke, Inc.: Inside the Social Justice Scam

The single most informative and insightful analysis yet of woke ideology…Woke, Inc. is indispensable for understanding how America’s newest and most consequential cultural dogma is fundamentally transforming virtually every sector of our lives‘ – Glenn Greenwald, author of Securing Democracy

‘A provocative critique, wrapped in a gripping personal story that pulls you in from page one. Vivek Ramaswamy is breakthrough brilliant and arrestingly original. Woke, Inc. is essential reading for anyone who cares about America’s democracy, economy, and future’ – Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations



Vivek Ramaswamy

Entrepreneur who founded Roivant Sciences

Entrepreneur who founded Roivant Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, in 2014, after a career as a successful biotech investor. A 35-year-old first-generation American, he is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. Ramaswamy serves on the board of directors of the Philanthropy Roundtable and the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. 

Manveen Rana

Senior investigative journalist and host of The Times and Sunday Times flagship podcast Stories of Our Times

Senior investigative journalist and host of The Times and Sunday Times flagship podcast Stories of Our Times. She was previously a broadcaster and reporter for BBC Radio 4's The Today Programme and The World at One.

Speakers subject to change.