Mats Lederhausen is the founder of BE-CAUSE, his own investment platform for investing and building businesses with a “purpose bigger than their products®.” This philosophy is based on both ancient philosophy as well observations and experience from companies that were propelled by a strong purpose. Prior to forming BE-CAUSE, Mats served as Managing Director of McDonald’s Ventures. McDonald’s Ventures managed the investments McDonald’s held in future oriented growth initiatives including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Boston Market, RedBox DVD and Pret A Manger. As a director, Chairman and finally lead director of Chipotle from 2000-2006 Mats helped shape the strategy that ultimately led to one of the most successful restaurant IPOs of all times. Mats was on the founding team of RedBox and served on its board until Coinstar acquired McDonald’s stake in RedBox in the spring of 2009. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Mats began his career with McDonald’s in 1979 as a part time crew member in Sweden. In 1983, he participated in the McDonald’s Management Development Program and worked as a store manager from 1984 to 1985. Lederhausen worked for The Boston Consulting Group in London from 1988 to 1990. Mats holds a MSc in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics.
During the talk, Mats discussed the short-termism that plagues our society and some of the ways we can move past it. Using the context of his own personal narrative and experiences in the business world, he provoked scholars by sharing his thoughts on how capitalism can help to solve the world's problems and how it is possible to do well while doing good. As the world changes and information disseminates to more people, ideas are more important than ever before, and those who have good ones can be rewarded for their idea itself. He also discussed the importance of ethical leadership and encouraged the diverse group of scholars in attendance to think about how to balance all that is important in life and build a portfolio of things that are important, which for Mats includes family, good eating, exercise, business, service, and more. Mats inspired the group while fielding questions about his business career and unique perspective on the world's challenges, including food and water availability, economic inequality, and global climate change. Mats encouraged the Scholars to engage with the solutions as much as with the problems. He concluded by reminding the group that there are enough smart people debating problems, which is only the first step. It’s time to get busy creating solutions!