The Need for a New Economic Paradigm

Is ours a future of global warming, failed states, and grid-locked politics? Or is it one of empowered entrepreneurs and innovators?

I’ve thought about this a lot as I considered how best to use my time and such abilities as I may have developed. Today, sustainability is a core business strategy of most leaders in the commercial sector. Companies are saving money and increasing shareholder value as they reduce their environmental footprints. We have changed the world for the better.

For all our successes, though, it’s hard to look at the current state of the world and feel that we are making enough of a difference. Every major ecosystem on the planet is in decline. Most global social indicators are abysmal. By the end of 2015 there were 65.3 million people forcibly displaced. Hundreds of millions more do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. Planetary wealth inequality has soared over the past thirty years. The global temperature has risen 1.10°C since 1880. CO2 in the atmosphere is at 404 PPM and average temperatures continue to rise. Scientists estimate that the present rate of extinction may be as high as 140,000 species per year. Clearly, sustainability as we know it, is not enough.

The book, Natural Capitalism, played a pivotal role in shattering the old “business versus the environment” argument. Hunter’s work changed the world’s paradigm. And it changed my life, as I suspect it did for many of you. As I look around at organizations with whom I want to work, Natural Capitalism Solutions remained my first choice.

We need to expand our efforts beyond just implementing more sustainable practices. Meeting the challenges will require that we transform the global economy. To ensure a viable future for all, the world must embrace an economic paradigm that values the regeneration and preservation of natural and human capital.

Hunter is committed to this goal. Working with the Club of Rome and dozens of international experts, she has sketched a new economic paradigm, and is crafting it into a new book: A Finer Future. Born of a new narrative, her work is based on the scientific evidence that humans are happiest when we are interconnected, that while money matters, the health of our home and families matters more, that equity throughout society and resilience are better starting places for a global economy, and that we can entrepreneur our way to a finer future. I have joined her to refine this vision and bring it to a broader audience. But to succeed, we need your help.

Hunter and I have convened a Finer Future Forum, made up of local entrepreneurs, new economy investors, politicians, seasoned philanthropists and change agents to bring financial support necessary to finish the book and intellectual diversity necessary to rethink our economy. The Forum will meet monthly to help hone the content in Hunter’s book and explore how to implement a new economic paradigm here in Colorado. In addition to this small working group of leaders, we have initiated an online dialogue to engage citizens from around the world on transforming our economy.
Please reach out to me (Jeff Hohensee) if you are interested in participating and if you can help fund this world-changing work.