A fascinating walkthrough of consciousness as applied to an organization. I have long felt that any collective of entities that are conscious, will produce a conscious super-organism so to speak. This struck me vividly when living in New York City during my early 20’s. I could feel the rhythm of the city, in particular a collective emotion that changed all the time – stress, joy, fear, comfort. They were all there, serving to guide how to best navigate through the many interactions I had during the day.

Consciousness is a slippery beast. Philosophers and neuroscientists alike struggle to explain what it is, where it is housed, and why it exists—if it exists at all. There is also serious debate about whether computers and animals can be conscious. This leads to another question: Can a company be conscious, too?

When Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spoke at MIT’s commencement, I asked him whether he thought Apple was conscious. He considered the question very thoughtfully. Then, over the course of several minutes, he said he thought Apple was an organism like a person with values and goals and that, of course, it was conscious. […]