Feb 9, 2020

Has Airbnb grown a conscience?

"Our commitment is to make sure that Airbnb does have a positive impact," co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk says. Last year, 181 firms signed onto a statement by the influential business lobby, the Business Roundtable, affirming that corporate responsibilities extend beyond shareholders. As inequality grows and climate change worsens - without a meaningful political response - business leaders are increasingly "Seeing the writing on the wall, that the usual way to approaching business has failed", says CB Bhattacharya, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business. Airbnb can't be too radical, cautions Prof Belinfanti. There is a limit to how much control public investors - whose share purchases would fund Airbnb - will be willing to cede, she says.

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