• Overview

    There is a way our economy can work for everyone. In order for that to happen, we need profits to circulate continuously through our economic system, rather than accumulating at the top.

    When we think of not-for-profit organizations, many of us think of inefficient groups that depend on donations, grants and volunteers to provide social services. But over the last thirty years, the not-for-profit sector has changed dramatically, paving the way to an economy based on human need rather than greed.


    Increasingly, not-for-profit organizations generate their own income from selling goods and services, and they are reaching into markets once dominated by for-profits. Construction, manufacturing, software development, food catering and retail are now all fair game for not-for-profit businesses. Because all of their profits must be invested back into their mission, these businesses return wealth to the real economy, rather than making the rich richer.


    Not-for-profit businesses also appeal to the best in human nature and fulfill our deep desire to work for companies that make a difference. This alignment is driving the rise of not-for-profit businesses in our economy. With marked advantages in terms of value creation, market reputation, innovation, human resources, governance, and productivity, not-for-profit businesses are increasingly outperforming their for-profit peers.


    What if this trend continues? What if we rally around businesses that see profit as the means to achieving greater goals, rather than as a goal in itself? Could we help usher in a Not-for-Profit World?


    The Not-for-Profit World is a vision of a world in which markets can facilitate collaboration, connection and caring, within ecological limits.


    Our Approach

    We came to these ideas, outlined in our forthcoming book How on Earth, through years of researching, analyzing and testing the Not-for-Profit World model.


    We collected data about trends in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. We drew on the latest insights from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, systems thinking, social psychology and behavioral economics. We databased hundreds of existing not-for-profit businesses in order to map the scope of the emerging Not-for-Profit World, and to have a suite of case studies to learn from.


    Our analysis allowed us to see how the shifts that are already underway are catalyzing other changes – from worldviews and values to collective action and individual behavior. This is opening up space for new ways of organizing the economy to emerge. In this light, the Not-for-Profit World model beautifully coalesces with other growing social trends like collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer production, and crowdfunding.


    To test our conclusions, we went through a multi-stage feedback process. We presented our ideas at conferences, public talks, in the media, via social media, at workshops, and had in-depth conversations with experts in a wide range of fields, including business, economics, finance and sociology. Finally, we started a not-for-profit business incubator in the U.S., giving us more hands-on experience and grounding our ideas.


    It has been an incredible journey, and now we invite you to join us for the most important phase!


    Set to be published in 2017, How on Earth will be distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing. Pre-publication orders can be made here, or you can grab a copy via our original Indiegogo crowdfunding page, which now enables perpetual campaigns. Updates on the book's progress may be read here.


    Here’s to a world that works for us all!

  • Advanced praise

    'The concepts developed here go so much deeper and broader than the already profound financial and ecological ramifications. This book strikes at our heart space, reminding us that the human connectivity between us all is what matters most, and that our shared quest for prosperity is dramatically easier when we focus on developing strong businesses that exist to generate communal wealth.'


    Prof. Vijoleta Braach-Maksvytis Ph.D. FAICD, former Head, Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia


    'What would business look like aligned with a just and sustainable planet? This book offers a vision, and more than that, a practical path that people can implement right now.'


    Charles Eisenstein, Author, Sacred Economics, and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible


    'A cogent, compelling blueprint for building an economy where everyone can thrive without wrecking the planet along the way.'


    Carl Honoré, Author of In Praise of Slowness


    'How on Earth explains how a thriving economy doesn't have to be based on providing returns to private shareholders and investors. Not-for-profit enterprises are among the most successful and sustainable businesses around. This book is a must-read!'


    Linda Wilcox Young, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Economics, Southern Oregon University


    'Precisely the bold economic thinking that we need!

    Randy Hayes, Rainforest Action Network founder & Director, Foundation Earth


    'Combining passion and hard evidence, How on Earth is a fascinating, highly original book. It points to how not-for-profit organizations can play a major role in building a more caring and sustainable economy. It further documents a strong trend in this direction through not-for-profit models that generate revenue that is then invested in caring for people and nature.'


    Riane Eisler, author of The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics


    I welcome this book helping to illuminate the unpaid, cooperative half of all societies – ignored  in GDP and therefore invisible to  mainstream media  and society. Economists’ money-focused models still mis-price goods and services, as I have documented for decades. Maclurcan and Hinton's work reveals how these unpaid sectors, underpinning all societies, are now merging with open source movements, cooperatives, and the shareconomy, as part of a broader shift to a not-for-profit business ethic. All will soon eclipse money-based for-profit markets and corporations, worldwide.'


    Dr. Hazel Henderson, Author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy and Building A Win-Win-World. President, Ethical Markets Media (USA & Brazil) - Certified B Corporation




    1. When Nobody Owns The Companies

    Our market economy can be more effective than you might imagine


    2. Inherent Crises of the For-Profit World
    An extractive system is driving our greatest challenges


    3. The New Story
    We are ready for a not-for-profit future

    4. Workings of a Not-for-Profit Economy
    A market economy can be innovative, viable, and not-for-profit


    5. The Evolution of Business

    The arc of the economic universe bends toward circulatory enterprise

    6. The Great Transition

    A new economy will be birthed uncomfortably from the old

    7. Our Shared Story
    We can create a Not-for-Profit World together



    Here is a record of the updates sent to those who helped crowdfund ‘How on Earth’, Post Growth Institute’s forthcoming book, in mid 2013, and those who have since placed pre-orders.


    These show progress with the book, and developing the supporting ‘infrastructure’ to get the ideas out.


    If you have any questions or need clarification on anything, please contact us by emailing info@postgrowth.org


    Jennifer Hinton

    Athens, Greece



    A social systems designer, Jennifer Hinton is Co-Director at the Post Growth Institute, and teaches sustainability and English in Athens, Greece. Her work has included projects on China’s circular economy, ethanol production in Brazil and Sweden, renewable energy job creation in Uzbekistan, and lowering the ecological footprint of Greek public schools.

    Donnie Maclurcan

    Ashland, OR, USA


    An experienced social entrepreneur, Donnie Maclurcan is Executive Director at the Post Growth Institute and Affiliate Professor of Social Science at Southern Oregon University. He is author of Nanotechnology and Global Equality, Nanotechnology and Global Sustainability and is currently writing The Not-for-Profit Handbook.


    The strength of this book project is rooted in the power of people.


    Research, and assistance with the book has been provided by: Sarah Reibstein, Tegan Tallulah, Simon Spire, Sharon Ede, Chiara Aliotta, Gudrun Freese, Chris Hehn, Kristen Murphy, Theoharis Tziovaras and Dorothy Filiotis.


    The $20,845 we received through our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has made the development of How on Earth possible.


    Special thanks to our major backers: the Just Pax Foundation; Flora Family Foundation; Whole Systems Foundation; Dick Smith; Malcolm Lovell; and Matthew Byrne.


    And to all our other contributors, a huge thanks!


    Aaron K. Anderson; Adam Jorlen; Adrian Pyle; Alan Barrett; Alanya Brown; Alexander Jones; Alison Macintyre; Alistair Coulstock; Amelia Bryne; Ãmile van Dantzig; Amy Lastraglio; Anca Grigoras; Andrea Bonetti; Andreas Hengst; Andres Tomaselli; Andrew Baker; Andrew Curry; Andrew Gaydon; Andrew Humby; Andrew Longmire; Andrew McMillan; Andrew Purdam; Andrew Tennant; Andy Brelsford; Andy Isbister; Ann Algie; Anna Betz; Anna Schlunke; Anne Gillme; Anne Sofie Fischer; Antoine Moore; Armando Tomaselli; Asen Nenov; Ashwin Thomas; Bansith Grace; Barbara Eynon; Barry Davis; Barry Hopewell; Bart van der Vliet; Beatriz Carrillo Garcia; Ben Lambert; Benny Callaghan; Beth Mylius; Betsy Densmore; Bill Kauth; Bob Phelps; Bob Willard; Bonnie Walker; Brenton Caffin; Brodie Klemm; Carl Honore; Carl Lemura; Carlos Hernan Castaneda; Carol B Holst; Cath Miller; Chantelle Coutinho; Charles Maclurcan; Charlie Peverett; Chet Gardiner; Chiara Aliotta; Chris Agnos; Chris Knott; Chris Vondenhoff; Chris Watkins; Christoph Hewett; Christopher Fisher; Christy Filipich; Chrys Horn; Chuntug Taguba; Claire Jones; Clare Finlator; Coco Lisa Kanters; Colin Pape; Colin Reynolds; Craig Bryden; D Stone; Daav Wheeler; Damien Giurco; Damo Antonio; Dan Gooden; Dan Smith; Dane Murray; Daniel Mirabella; Daniel O'Neill; Daniel Stewart; D'Arcy Lunn; Darren Sharp; Dave Hampton; David Scollon; Deborah Prescott; Deborah Riddell; Denise Gibbon; Denise Gibbons; Denise McGregor; Dianne Hiles; Digby Hall; Dimka Kozlov; Dinali Dev; Dominik Wind; Donna Birdwell; Edward Croger; Eloise Touni; Elsa Wetherbee; Emanuel Campiglio; Emma Blomkamp; Emma Swann; Enric Senabre; Erfan Daliri; Erik Olesund; Ethan Gans-Morse; Eugenia Tishkina; Eva Mackinley; Ewan Briggs; Felix MacNeill; Fernanda Olmedo Cevallos; Finn Jackson; Francesco Turco; Frank Stilwell; Gabby Garcia-Pardo; Gar Alperovitz; Gautham Kasinath; Gavin Heaton; Gavin Kebblewhite; George Trembath; Gerd Leonhard; Gil Agnew; Glenda Caselli; Gordon Renouf; Grant Young; Hamish Low; Heather Smith; Helen Ketelbey; Henrik G Dahle; Hisasi Kitagawa; Hrvoje Butkovic; Hugo O'Connor; Ian Bost; Ian Bourne; Ian Doyle; Ian Felton Roderick; Ian Penrose; Indu Balachandran; Inge Wallage; Ivo Valkenburg; Jack Welsh; Jake Gibbons; James Maclurcan; James Samuel; Jami Heinricher; Jamie Andrews; Jamie Osborne; Jan Hively; Jane da Mosto; Janelle Robbins; Janet Newbury; Janine Cahill; Jay Paytte; Jean Desrosiers; Jean Russell; Jenny Calder; Jenny Epstein; Jeremy Leitch; Jeremy Williams; Jess Wundke; Jillian Blackall; Joe Guinan; John Elford; John Gormley; John Hill; Jon Yeo; Jonas Allesson; Jonas Roberts; Jonathan Gadir; Jorn Bettin; Josef Davies-Coates; Joseph Elliott; Josh Nelson; Joshua Threinen; Julian Crawford; Julian Waters-Lynch; Julien Lamarche; Julius Beltrame; Justin Ritchie; Kai Heuben; Karen Farias Proschle; Kate Maclurcan; Kath Letch; Katharine Stavrinou; Katherine Rice; Ken Moon; Keri Chiveralls; Kerrie Noonan; Kerry Grace; Kevin Murray; Kirsty Kelly; Kristen Lyons; L. X. Wilkinson; Lachlan Jeffries; Lance Cablk; Lara Damiani; Larisa Hill; Laurent Peutin; Lauri Feinsod; Layne Hartsell; Lesley Treleaven; Liam Davidson; Lieve Vereycken; Linda Hinton; Linda Leary; Lindi A.; Lisa Zheng; Liz Locksley; Louise Sales; Lucy Brown; Lyn Lauffer; Lynne Wintergerst; Maria De la Fuente Diez; Marianne Doczi; Marjorie Kelly; Mark Anders; Mark Anielski; Mark Juedeman; Mark Parnell; Mark Russell; Marshall Dunn; Martijn Van Lith; Mary Fahnestock-Thomas; Matt Phillips; Matt Sorenson; Matthew Drake; Max Tomaselli; Megan Drimal; Mel Woodhouse; Melanie St. James; Melinda Mollineaux;   Melissa Neighbour; Michael Bull; Michael Croft; Michael Hanauer; Michael Harries; Michael MacKian; Micheline Mason; Michelle O'Brien; Michelle Prak; Michelle Warren; Mickey Kovari; Mike Freedman; Mike Grenville; Mike Wilson; Miles Hunt; Millie Rooney; Monica Richter; Nancy Peters; Narelle Louise; Natasha Barker; Nathan Surendran; Nathanael Boehm; Nathaniel Smith; Nick Heap; Nick Rose; Nick Towle; Nicole Brammy; Noni McDevitt; Norman Miller; Norton Grey; Olivier Asselin; Omer Abashar; Onur Ekinci; Oscar Metcalfe; Pamela Grow; Pamela Lloyd; Pat Sunter; Patricia Barnes; Patricia De Tomaselli; Patricia Gemmell; Patricia Sims; Paul Downton; Paul Hodge; Paul Kettlewell; Paula Broom; Paula Hanasz; Paula Rohrbaugh; Pauline Fowlie; Peter Clements; Peter Cziel; Peter Gringinger; Peter Jones; Peter Victor; Pharan Akhtarkhavari; Phil Harrington;   Philip Bangalter; Philippe Methot; Phillip Rhoades; Phoebe Maroulis; Pim Martens; Rachelle Sandow; Raf Manji; Raimondi Swartele; Ralf Lippold; Reem Hajjar; Richard Curtin; Richard Martin; Richard Oosterom; Richard Smith; Rob Branch-Dasch; Rob Hellenius; Rob Kozak; Robert Proctor; Robert Worrall; Roberto de Manincor; Robin Curtis; Ron Russell; Rose Powell; Rosemary M. Lehman; Rowena Zwart; Ruika Lin; Ryan Anderson; Sam Manger; Samuel Alexander; Samuel Brugger; Sandy Loffler; Sandy Winfield; Scott Kilpatrick; Sean Carey; Sean Seefried; Seline Kutan; Seth Moser-Katz; Shar Molloy; Sharon Ede; Shaun Lim; Silvia Di Blasio; Simon Loffler; Simon Waller; Sophia Leon de la Barra; Sophia Macrae; Stefan Joesler; Stephanie Lorenzo; Stephen Shearer; Steve Gray; Steve MacDonald; Steve Matthews; Stiafen Loringett; Sue Gilbey; Sushila Desai; Suzanne York; Sylvain Mengin; Tanya Ede; Tanya Harris; Tawni Jones; Taya Seidler; Terry Webb; Thea O'Connor; Theodoros Kolonas; Thomas Georgeson; Timothy Rayner; Tiziana Della Rovere; Tom Halbert; Tom Maclurcan; Tom Stites; Tom Voirol; Tomas Baeza; Tomasi Sotutu; Tony Holmes; Tori Saint; Torsten Krause; Udi Bauman; Vaalea D; Vasil Ilinski; Vim Naidoo; Wanita Bowley; Wayne Richmond; Wesley Blundy-Gow-Brown; Will Mansfield; William Anderson; Xiaoda Xu; Yoann Bretonnet; Zara Choy.


    If you want to get involved or help with the book project in some way, please contact us at: info@postgrowth.org 


    Book cover image and design by Chiara Aliotta: www.untilsunday.it.



    Have questions, comments, offers of help? We'd love to hear from you!


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