Tilman Bauer
Dr. Tilman Bauer
Founder of Peace.fi, Peace Researcher, Speaker,
Holistic Business-Peace Consultant
Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration
Interested in making your company truly a force for good?
Want to find out how and why peace is relevant for your company?

Contact me below. Now available for speaking engagements!
Current/past affiliations / partnerships*
  • Founder of Peace.fi
  • Aalto University School of Business
  • Stanford University Peace Innovation Lab*
  • The Hague Peace Innovation Institute*

Known for
  • The "Tilman Bauer Hypothesis" (coined by Mark Nelson): The Purpose of Business is to Generate Peace.
  • Using the philosophical research method to study anything but philosophy.
  • Being passionate about the nexus of business and peace.

Peace is the next big thing.

Available for
Consulting, coaching, speaking engagements, new opportunities, employment, selected research projects, both in person and remotely

Currently based in
Helsinki, Finland
The Purpose of Business is Peace: to generate peace, to foster peace, and to contribute to all levels of peace – and to be profitable at the same time. Yet, profits are not the purpose of business, they are a nice side-effect, a corroborating enabler, of business.
Dr. Tilman Bauer
Peace researcher
Aalto University School of Business

My Research on Business and Peace

My research constructs a new conceptualization of business in which the expanded concept of peace is identified as the substance of any positive corporate impact. From that, I put forth the hypothesis that fostering peace is the purpose of business, whereas profits are only a requirement, or a corroborating enabler, but not the essence, nor the raison d’être, of business. To operationalize peace for the business context, I construct a Business Peace Index to model and measure corporate contributions to peace and the common good.

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The Main Argument
If the role of business is to create positive impact,
and if creating positive impact means, in substance, generating peace,
then the purpose of business is to generate and foster peace.
It is sometimes suggested that I must be talking about the philosophical purpose of business. After all, I cannot possibly look into the minds of countless entrepreneurs and see what they are thinking, or what their motivations are, when doing business. While the latter is true, I argue that, nonetheless, the actual purpose of business is to work for peace, even if the individual entrepreneur might not be aware of it. Why is this so? Consider the act of doing groceries in a supermarket. Now comes a philosopher who claims that the actual purpose of any supermarket shopping is to increase one's health – even if the shopper doesn't know it. The shopper might say, "No way, my purpose is just to buy a piece of chocolate for pleasure!" However, the philosopher might offer the following answer. If one would stop eating, one would very likely eventually die out of hunger. Therefore, any non-poisonous eating, even if it is just a piece of chocolate, has the effect of preventing starvation. Consequently, the philosopher might conclude, the purpose of any grocery shopping has, in the end, the purpose of contributing to one's health. Of course, some foods might, in fact, have a negative impact on one's health. In a similar manner, I argue that the real purpose of business is to generate peace. If, in actuality, a certain business does not contribute positively to peace, then we, as society, might want to ask whether this particular business should retain its license to operate.
What is Peace?
So, what is peace? My simple answer is that peace is much more than the absence of war or violence. For someone, peace can be a walk in nature, and for another, a romantic dinner with your spouse, playing with children, doing yoga, or traveling to a new country and experiencing the local culture. There are as many peaces as there are people in the world.

My technical answer is that peace can be seen as the substance of any positive impact. This is enabled by the plurality and transrational nature of peace that transcends duality. Based on a wealth of studies and treatises in world literature, peace is believed to offer a guiding principle for the betterment of any aspect of human activity.

And, finally, in my elaborate answer, I define 1+3 levels of peace. Nonwar is the absence of physical systematic violence and Weak Peace is the absence of structural or cultural violence. This includes violence against nature, such as pollution. Strong Peace is the first level of peace that describes substantial peace rather than the absence of negative traits (what it actually is and not only what it is not), and it is the presence of any positive values, ideals, or virtues desired by society, such as justice, health, wealth, education, or sustainability. And finally, Holistic Peace is a transrational, spiritual vision for humanity, an ultimate higher purpose of human endeavor, and moral excellence. (These are inspired by the works of Johan Galtung and Wolfgang Dietrich.)

My concluding answer is that peace serves as an ultimate visionary yet reachable goal. Accordingly, peace is an amalgamation of those ideals that the thinkers of the world have identified as necessary, right, and beneficial for the advancement of human potential. It needs to be noted that each of the above-mentioned levels of peace has both an inner and an outer dimension. In other words, there can be an absence or presence of negative or positive states within one’s mind and/or within or between individuals, groups, organizations, societies, or nations. Yet, holistic peace can likely be achieved only through the extension of inner peace to outer peace.

What do the levels of weak, strong, and holistic peace entail?
What is the role of business in fostering peace?
This question pertains to the fundamental issue of what the Purpose of Business is (and to the question of the role of business in society). Let's start with the old-school answer: According to economist Milton Friedman and others, the purpose of business is profit maximization. However, I argue that this is the biggest misunderstanding of the last 100-200 years. Philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Charles de Montesquieu, as well as the “Father of Economics” Adam Smith, have for centuries recognized the role of business, or trade and international cooperation in general, in creating stability and peace in society. More recently, in the last 10-20 years, empirical studies such as those by Business Ethics scholar Timothy Fort (worth noting is also the Peace Data Standard by the Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford University), have shown that ethical business through core business activities actually fosters and generates peace. However, these studies were often limited to a definition of peace as the absence of war (Negative Peace, or Nonwar).

My contribution is to take this fact – that ethical products and services foster peace – and apply it to the expanded concept of peace, as defined above, and to the increasing collective awareness that the purpose of business is to create positive impact for society. The result is truly mind-blowing: If the purpose of business is to create positive impact in society, and if creating positive impact means, in substance, fostering peace, then the purpose of business in society is to foster peace. In other words, I propose an entirely new paradigm, or mindset, in which business is seen as a force for peace through core business activities, such as selling ethical products and services. Profitability is still important but not the goal or purpose. Rather, profits are only a requirement, or a corroborating enabler, but not the essence, nor the raison d’être, of business.

As Edward Freeman, known for his stakeholder theory, eloquently states in a recent webinar: "I need red blood cells to live, but the purpose of my life is not to make red blood cells, and that would be a foolish conclusion to make. Business must have profits to live […] but it doesn’t follow that making as much money as you can or maximizing profits is the purpose of business."
Hire me for a speaking engagement

I'm now available for speaking engagements, lectures, and workshops related to the following topics:

  • How and why peace is relevant for your company
  • Why we need a paradigm shift in the business world
  • The nexus of business and peace
  • How can business do good in society
  • Corporate social responsibility / sustainability
  • What is peace
  • What does it mean to do research

To get more information or to book me for your event, please contact me below and answer these questions:

  • What, where, when, how, who?
  • Your budget?
  • Any special wishes?

Prior clients/hosts include Dash Conference (Stanford University), Aalto University, Peace Corps Ukraine, Helsingin medialukio, and Autarkia GmbH among others. Testimonials/references are available upon request.

Contact me to find out more!
Contact me:
I'm available for speaking engagements, new opportunities, and selected research projects. Also, I will get back to you as soon as possible if you have any questions or comments.

Email: inbox@tilmanbauer.eu
WhatsApp: +358-40-5751302

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Tilman Bauer
IBAN: FI15 1021 3500 0725 89

PayPal: inbox@tilmanbauer.eu

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