An Economy in Service to Life

August 6, 2015

We need a new north star, a vision that inspires people to take action and create systemic change. The ecological and economic crises 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.  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 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. So Natural Capitalism Solutions is convening an international team of business people, thought leaders, scholars, investors and activists (see list of participants here) to craft a new narrative and strategy for an economy that works, in Buckminster Fuller’s words, for 100% of humanity. A Chinese investor has offered to fly participants to a global summit to frame the new narrative and to set forth a strategy of change to get from where we are now to a Regenerative Economy.  The Club of Rome has agreed to partner with us, along with over 100 leaders in the new economy movement.

This is an ambitious undertaking, it employs the theory of change that established the current economic paradigm.  It is how a small group ended slavery in the UK, and is the approach that has underpinned successful social change movements throughout history.  If the myriad, disparate efforts to drive change are to achieve coherence, we must articulate an alternative to today’s ruling mental model.

The framework 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 effort is being coordinated by Hunter Lovins and Natural Capitalism Solutions, in Colorado and is a cross-post from their site.