Capitalism vs. Socialism

With Guides: Michael Strong, Carrie-Ann Biondi | Mon, Wed & Fri | April 6th - June 5th | 3:00 PM EST (2:00 PM Central, 12:00 PM Pacific)

Course Description
At the dawn of the 21st century, the debate about the relative merits of capitalism versus socialism seemed to have a clear winner: capitalism was triumphant.  
And yet now two decades into the 21st century, with unprecedented economic growth that has lifted more than a billion people out of poverty (the current COVID-19 crisis notwithstanding) AND unprecedented global wealth concentration, there’s renewed interest and energy for exploring the underlying assumptions, trade-offs, interpretations, and implications of these economic systems.  
In this class, you’ll have the chance to examine and discuss the intellectual and historical roots of these economic approaches and systems, explore the ways different cultures and societies throughout history have organized their economic lives, and refine your own point of view.  
Among the guiding questions this class will explore:
  • What assumptions about human nature does each system make and what are our own assumptions about human nature? 
  • What role do culture and history play in shaping a society’s and an individual’s orientation to economic life?  
  • What trade-offs does each system entail and what have we learned from how different countries have managed those trade-offs over time? 
Course Schedule
  • This course starts Monday, April 6th and ends Friday, June 5th
  • The course meets for 3 classes per week.  
  • Class is held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3:00 PM EST (2:00 PM Central, 12:00 PM Pacific)
  • Each class is 60 minutes.  
  • All classes are held on Zoom and a built-in video and microphone are required. 
Class Size
30 students, minimum enrollment is 10 students.


Geared towards capable high school students, open to students 13-19 with a solid work ethic and above-average reading abilities.

Zoom (information will be provided after the registration is complete)

To register, please sign up below. A confirmation email will be sent to you. We will also reach out directly to enrolled attendees as we get closer to the start date.

Financial Aid
We have a limited amount of financial aid we are able to award to support families in need to be able to enroll. If you would like to apply for financial aid for this course, please complete the aid application here

About the Instructors: Michael Strong and Carrie-Ann
Michael Strong, the founder of ATI, is also a co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, with John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market. Michael has written extensively on economic systems for both academic journals and the public. He is the lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems, with co-authors including John Mackey, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, and Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capitalism: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere.

Dr. Carrie-Ann Biondi earned a B.A. in American Studies from Hofstra University, an M.A. in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Bowling Green State University. She has been teaching a wide range of Philosophy courses and first-year writing seminars at the college level for 25 years, during which time she has used and refined Socratic pedagogy. Her hobbies include hiking, walking, running philosophical discussion groups for people of all ages, going on historical walking tours, listening to music, going to concerts, and visiting art museums.

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