Buddhist Economics

Could Buddhism provide the intellectual foundations for designing a sustainable economic and business system?

Business as an instrument for Societal change

In Conversation with the Dalai Lama

Mind over Matter

Naar een Economie met een Hart

publication news


Press Reviews on Book Mind over Matter

Since the outbreak of the crisis in 2008 lots of commentators were ready to share their views on the crisis, mostly without much understanding of the matter. Sander Tideman is a welcome exception. In this book he explains clearly how the world economy got into this predicament and by referring to the Gross National Happiness model developed by Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, he makes the case for how we can renew our perspective on economics. This is required reading for policy makers. But also business leaders will be stimulated to look at your organizations differentlySprout Management Review

Who thought that after the recession we could think that everything would return to normal, did not count on Sander Tideman. He shows the way (…) with much conviction.  His book is warmly recommended to all entrepreneurs, managers, politicians and economics who want to face the challenges of the 21st century without blindfold. Rens van Gelderen, Management Scope

Other reactions on book Mind over Matter

This book is ‘beyond economics’. It convincingly shows how the financial crisis is part of a much broader sustainability crisis and, even more importantly, how we can tackle the sustainability challenge. Prof. dr. R.J.M. Dassen RA, chairman/CEO, Deloitte Netherlands, board member Deloitte Global

In Mind over Matter, Sander Tideman clearly explains how we have lost the human dimension in economics. He shows that the financial crisis was not just an accident but the unavoidable consequence of a blind belief in reductionism en mathematical models. It is not only a sharp analysis of the current crisis:  he puts forward a vision of humanity, the future and how that should look in practical economic terms. This book is a must for anyone looking for a sustainable perspective. Peter Blom, CEO Triodos Bank

Sander Tideman is right. His writing confirms what the Earth Charter has said all along: this is the time to create an economic system with a heart; time to bring compassion in the centre of business, economics and society. Prof. dr. Ruud Lubbers, former Prime Minister The Netherlands;  Commissioner of The Earth Charter

This is an intellectually convincing and emotionally attractive narrative promoting a new approach to economics and what that means for business and societal leadership. Tex Gunning, Member of the Board of Director, Akzo Nobel

This book forms an important contribution to the design of the next phase in society, by indicating on which principles we should build a sustainable economic system and what we need to do to make a start in this endeavour. Herman Wijffels, former Chairman/CEO Rabobank, former Governor The World Bank

Your essay “Mind Over Matter” is outstanding and I would like to send copies to a lot of people. The subject matter is so relevant and of today. Niall FitzGerald, Former Chairman, Unilever and Reuters

By offering alternative perspectives, this essay offers important leads for a world, which faces global challenges of an unprecedented magnitude.  It is particularly relevant in the light of Einstein’s observation, that “No problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness, which caused it. Jack Jacometti, Former Vice-President, Global GTL Development, Shell International Gas Limited 

It is the best document I have read in a long time, ties together spirituality, economy and CSR in a magnificent way. Normally most people in the business world cannot recognize as them One, you certainly give us light in how to do it. Frederico Cuneo, Ernst & Young, Peru

Your essay particularly impresses me. Not since Schumacher’s ‘Small is beautiful’ have I read an article on a new way of economics that was so full of good sound common sense and that also reflects on the spirit of mankind, and more significantly the links between the two. Alan Harpham, director of P5

This is a masterfully written and well-articulated essay. It is the first time I have read an essay on changes needed in economics that I so fully agree with – both in terms of content and spirit. I am not trying to flatter you or inflate your sense of ‘self’ –  it is a well-crafted piece from a number of vantage points. Mark P. Kriger, Professor of Strategy, Norwegian School of Management BI

I found your essay to be one of the best I’ve seen; one which gets really close to the core dilemma of competition and what confronting it really means for each of us. For me, this was the most illuminating part of the book ‘Compassion or Competition’. John Bunzl, Managing Director, ISPO, London

Well written, full of wisdom and with clarity of vision. The power of your message is becoming stronger every day by just looking out and observing the world. The developments around us are the best sales arguments for this essay. The ‘magic’ of this essay is brought about by the style of writing: crystal clear, with a unique ‘simplifying depth’ vis-à-vis the grand concepts, theories and assumptions. With this story you could (and should!) reach a large public and, most importantly, make them think. Reinout van Lennep, Senior Banker, Global Private Banking, ABN AMRO Bank

A masterful essay, a wise and practical contribution to the dialogue on the ethics underlying economics and globalization.  Hazel Henderson, author Building a Win Win World and Beyond Globalization, Founder Ethical Market Place.

Reactions in Dutch language

Sander Tideman leert ons op een onweerstaanbare manier om oude vanzelfsprekendheden opnieuw en vanuit een meervoudig perspectief te bezien. Hij opent daarmee het venster op een nieuwe en duurzame wereld waarin immateriële waarden de betekenis krijgen die zij al jaren verdienen, maar te lang niet hebben gekregenWillem Lageweg, Directeur, MVO Nederland

We hebben het de afgelopen decennia gedacht, maar de mens is gelukkig geen domme homo-economicus die alleen maar bezig is met het optimaliseren van de eigen economie. Onze soort vindt het veel belangrijker om samen te werken en samen te genieten. We realiseren ons steeds meer dat we deel uitmaken van een groter geheel en dat we geen enkel bestaansrecht hebben als onze omgeving niet gezond is. Het is wel de hoogste tijd om deze kwaliteiten te mobiliseren. Wie gaat dat doen, hoe en wanneer? In Mind over Matter geeft Sander Tideman op deze grote vragen een inspirerend antwoordJeroen Smit, schrijver van ‘De prooi, blinde trots breekt ABNAMRO’ en ‘Het Drama Ahold, ijdelheid en hebzucht aan de top’ 

Sander Tideman heeft niet alleen diepgaande compassie voor de toekomst van deze wereld, ook analyseert hij de situatie met scherpzinnigheid en kennis van zaken. Het boek biedt wezenlijk nieuwe inzichten, maar draagt ook ruimhartig praktische aanwijzingen aan om ons echt te laten veranderen. En dat is hard nodig. Wessel Ganzevoort, Hoogleraar Organisatiedynamiek en -innovatie, Economische Faculteit, Universiteit van Amsterdam

Er zijn boeken die je meteen pakken, gewoon omdat ‘het verhaal’ goed is. ‘Mind over Matter’ van Sander Tideman is zo’n boek. Het gaat over het nieuwe economische denken en belicht visionair de toekomst van de driehoek bedrijfsleven, overheid en financiële sector. Peter Story

Endorsements ‘Business as Instrument for Societal Change’ 

All business leaders should read this book. Wisdom is the most important leadership quality but it has been, for most of us, a serious missing link in our development. This book is not only a great gift but also highlights our great responsibility because – as it clearly demonstrates – change is possible.Tex Gunning, CEO TNT Express

Sander Tideman and the Dalai Lama give clear and useful insights into triple value creation in business. They powerfully remind us that leading a business is about creating social, economical and ecological value for every individual, every organization and for our society. Their insights combined with Sander’s personal journey will stimulate your intrinsic human motivation to implement these valuable and practical insights immediately. Lorike Hagdorn, Professor in Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Sander has captured the deeply human approach of the Dalai Lama in relation to business and its role in society. Through wonderful dialogues and inspiring visions, the book generates a spirit of hope by providing tangible, practical insights. And it is not just for Buddhists – this is a book for everyone who cares for people and the planet! Peter Blom, CEO & Chairman of the Executive Board, Triodos Bank Group

I rejoice that Sander Tideman has been able to capture our dialogues with the Dalai Lama in this book. This will greatly help us to understand that, in order for us to develop humanity in the secular world, we need to integrate compassion into our economy and business. Ruud Lubbers, Former Prime Minister, the Netherlands

Sander Tideman’s book is a soaring testimony from a lifelong seeker, wisdom teacher, and business leader. He provides insight across a breathtaking range, from the underpinnings of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” to the redemptive power of the human heart. Sander draws us a map for the positive future of business at a time when we desperately need inspiration and guidance on where to go next. I recommend this brilliant work to anyone who takes their role seriously, be it in business, in society, or – as Sander so passionately teaches us – at the inescapable nexus of them both.  Erica Ariel Fox, author of New York Times bestseller, Winning From Within: A Breakthrough Method for Leading, Living, and Lasting Change

 Sander Tideman’s life-long commitment to building a more compassionate and socially responsible “values-based” business world shines through in this compendium of dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This book is a must read for those who possess a humanistic world vision, strong societal empathy and for those who seek to make the 21st century one that has “social responsibility” at the center of the global business ecosystem. Peter Miscovich, Managing Director, Jones Lang Lassalle, New York

This book is a testimony to Sander’s many gifts. He has managed to weave his diverse and broad insights into a powerful intellectual framework and practical guide that for making shared purpose the new modes operandi of business. This is, I believe, the path to both personal and business success in the face of today’s multi-level challenges. I recommend this book to anyone who is seeking to understand how business can help create real solutions to address the enormous global challenges and opportunities we face. Anders Ferguson, Founding Principal, Veris Wealth Partners

Finally – a deep, thoughtful and constructive book that connects our characters, values and intentions with our leadership and entrepreneurship practices. Too often we fool ourselves into believing that we can achieve a just, inclusive and sustainable economy without first practicing justice, inclusion and respect towards all living things. Sander Tideman’s life-long search, which he generously shares in these pages, is uniquely positioned to be an invaluable guide for all those serious in this quest. Marcello Palazzi, Founder, Progressio Foundation & B Lab Europe

As someone who has spent more than a decade and a half watching the work of Sander Tideman and his colleagues unfold, I am thrilled with this inspiring, original, and far-sighted business book. …..The major achievement of this work is, in my view, is that it is the best business explanation of the connection between inner and outer transformation I’ve ever seen.David L. Cooperrider, PhD University Distinguished Professor Case Western Reserve University.

This impressive book reminds us of the essentials of life and business. Without purpose there is no clear identification for leaders, employees and customers to be successful. Sander Tideman’s own journey, full depth and richness of experience and content, illustrates very well how we are all challenged every day. The book gives a lot of inspiration of how we all can find a more purposeful journey. Thomas Burbl, CEO and Chairman, AXA Group


Lambooy, A. Argyrou, S. G. Tideman (2018). Enabling Company Boards to Create Sustainable Companies: The Connection Between Sustainability, Company Leadership and the Law. International and Comparative Corporate Law Journal, Volume 13, issue 2.

Sander Tideman, Foreword: Toward Contemplative Social Science, in Vincenzo Georgino & Zack Walsh eds (2018), Co-designing Economies in Transition; Radical Approaches in Dialogue with Contemplative Social Sciences, Pallgrave MacMillan. 

Sander Tideman (2017) Can Mark Zuckerberg reach enlightenment? OpEd, Wall Street Journal

Sander Tideman (2017). Discovering the Shared Purpose of Business and Society, Mobius Strip, Boston 

Sander G. Tideman (2016). Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama, Greenleaf Publications. 

Sander G. Tideman (2016). The Need for Contemplative Social Science. Foreword in Bentz V. and Giorgino V. eds. (2016) Contemplative Social Research. Caring for Self, Being and Lifeworld, Fielding University Press 

Sander G. Tideman (2016), Gross National Happiness: Lessons for Sustainability Leadership South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, Vol. 5 Iss 2 pp. 190 – 213 

Sander Tideman (2015) Verlicht Eigenbelang van Bedrijven in Winst, Ondernemen tussen Markt en Mens, AWVN, September 2015. 

Sander G. Tideman & Muriel C.L. Arts (2012)  Measuring Sustainable Value Creation: the CSV Practice Framework. Conference Paper for WBCSD-EMAN.

 Sander G. Tideman & Muriel C.L. Arts (2013) Creating Shared Value: How to Put it into Practice, TNO Research Paper. 

Sander G. Tideman, Muriel C.L. Arts, Danielle P. Zandee (2013) Sustainable Leadership: Toward a Workable Definition. Journal for Corporate Citizenship, March 2013

Tideman S.G. & Arts M.L (2013) Empowered Leadership: Mindsets and Qualities to Create Post-Crisis Economic, Social and Environmental Value. Nyenrode Business University Press. 

Sander Tideman (2012) Mindfulness werkt: het hoe en waarom, Nyenrode Business Press, Breukelen.

Tideman S.G. (2012) Theory and Practice of Leadership: A Perspective from Buddhism – Paper presented at ABIS Conference on Business and Buddhism in Thailand.

Sander Tideman (2010) Vertrouwen: denkfouten in onze economische ideologie, Slow Management.

Tideman S.G. (2009) Compassion or Competition  A Decade of Dialogues with H.H. the Dalai Lama and Leaders in Business, Economics and Society, Asoka Publications.

Sander Tideman (2005) Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen; van Hype naar Mainstream (CFO Magazine, 2005)

Tideman S.G. (2004) Gross National Happiness – Towards a New Paradigm for Economic Development, 2004 

Sander Tideman (2005) De Earth Charter: Naar een Nieuwe Visie op Publiek Leiderschap, 2005 

Tideman S.G. Chapter in “Een Wereld te Winnen: Visies op Verantwoord Ondernemen” Kluwer, 2006

Sander Tideman (2009) Mind over Matter – Naar een Economie met een Hart” (Dutch – Business Contact, 2009) 

Sander Tideman (2006) La Mente Supera a la Materia (Spanish translation of Mind over Matter, 2006) 

Sander Tideman (2005) Mind over Matter; Towards a New Paradigm in Leadership of Business and Economics. Van Ede.  

Schulte Nordholt H. & Tideman S.G. (2008) “Tibet en China; Op zoek naar de Middenweg”, Internationale Spectator, The Hague (Dutch) 

Van Baar B., & Tideman S.G. (2006) ‘Tibet; een Cultuur van Vrede’, Asoka 2006 (Dutch)

Tideman, Sander (2004) In de Schaduw van China; Sluimerende Krachten en Verborgen Culturen (Dutch) 

S.G. Tideman, Foreword and Chapter in: Strategic Considerations on the Sustainable Development of Central Asia, Codoca Urumqi Conference 1998 

Akiner S., Tideman S.G., Hay J. (1998), Sustainable Development in Central Asia (with Shirin Akiner and Jon Hay), Curzon Press, 1998 

Tideman S.G. & Van der Kerkhof T. (1996) Zakendoen in China – Een Gids voor Ondernemers, Walburg Pers, 1996 (Dutch) 

Tideman S.G. (1994) Non convertibility and other aspects China’s Financial System, Far East Executive Report, Washington D.C..

Tideman S.G. (1990) China’s economie na het TienAnMen-incident: afkoelen of verdrinken? Internationale Spectator,The Hague  januari 1990

Tideman S.G. (1987) Rechtshervorming in Volksrepubliek China Internationale Spectator, The Hague, juli 1987 

Tideman S.G. (1986) Tibetans and Other Minorities in China’s Legal System, Review of Socialist Law, Leiden.