An Economy In Service To Life

 

Humanity needs a new north star, a vision that inspires people to take action and create systemic change. The ecological and economic crises facing us are not an accident nor are they inevitable. They are driven by an economic ideology created by a small group of men who met after World War II to frame a narrative of unfettered free markets to fit their values. The group placed three of its members as heads of state, as advisors to essentially every head of state on the planet, including Reagan and Thatcher, as heads of central banks and Nobel laureates. They created the Chicago School of Economics, similar academic departments in universities around the world, and policy institutes from American Enterprise to the Cato Institute to give voice to what they called “neo-liberalism.” They made their vision that “greed is good, markets are perfect, austerity is the answer and maximization of shareholder return is the supreme goal of an economy” the dominant global mental model. They delivered unprecedented wealth to a small elite while bringing ruin across society and the globe.

An increasing number of people are feeling lost. We know that we are in trouble. We’re hungry for a new approach, but the only answers on offer seem to be authoritarian nationalism, business as usual or revolution. The video of comedian Russell Brand saying revolution is inevitable got more views than any other YouTube in 2013. Brand then dodged responsibility, saying that it was neither his duty nor his place to provide a needed new vision; that’s the job, he said, of people who know more.

He’s right. Natural Capitalism Solutions has convened an international team of business people, thought leaders, scholars, investors, faith leaders and activists to craft a new narrative and strategy for an economy that works, in Bucky Fuller’s words, for 100% of humanity.

This is an ambitious undertaking, but it is, we believe, the only way forward. It employs the theory of change that has underpinned successful social activism movements throughout history. It established the current economic paradigm. It is also the way that a small group ended slavery in the UK. A century later it informed the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. If the myriad, disparate efforts to drive change are to achieve coherence, we must articulate an alternative to today’s ruling mental model.

We will create is the missing coherence that change agents the world around need to take their work to scale and achieve critical mass.

This program has three components: