Is Capitalism Saving Or Destroying Us? Davis Smith WG’11/G’11 (Video)

Capitalism has lifted billions out of poverty, but has also been the most destructive force on the planet. Serial entrepreneur Davis Smith WG’11/G’11 grew up in the developing world and in this TEDx talk discusses the controversial nature of capitalism and how a chance encounter with a young street-boy in Peru put him on a path to use capitalism as a force for good.

As a four-year old, Davis ended up on a unique life-path when his family left the United States and moved to the developing world. His father was an adventurer, so Davis grew up climbing into active volcanoes, floating down the Amazon in a self-made raft, and surviving on uninhabited islands. He developed a love for adventure and the outdoors, which extended into adulthood. He has since traveled to over 60 countries and recently led a kayaking expedition from Cuba to Florida. While his life path was shaped by these childhood experiences in the outdoors, it was actually his exposure to those living in extreme poverty that most impacted his life. He believes that it is only through service to others that we can find true happiness. Davis is the CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company with a humanitarian mission at its core. He is also a member of the eight-person United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at