Is capitalism Disney’s best untold story?

Jennifer Begakis

Disney is inseparable from American culture and Hollywood entertainment, and it has become synonymous with global consumer capitalism. But what can we learn about the history of capitalism from Disney?

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Everyone remembers a Disney film, their first memory of a Disney Princess, or perhaps a trip to a Disney Park. Yet, Disney is also a perfect example of how capitalism evolved tremendously over the years. 

When Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983, Disney had no ownership of it. Instead, a local entity (to this date) operates the park and pays royalty and licensing fees to Disney. This was one of the first examples of business outsourcing and global expansion in tune with the evolution of consumer capitalism of the time. 

Jennifer Begakis will take us on a fascinating journey through the history of capitalism using insights from one of the most recognised companies in the world to tell us the story of how capitalism evolved since World War II. 

Talk outline


50 minutes

About the Fellow

Jennifer Begakis

Jennifer is a historian of capitalism with a focus on corporate finance, investment strategies and post-WWII consumer economies.