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. There is a way.
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-profits 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.
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!
1. When Nobody "Owns" The Companies
Profit can be more generative than you might imagine
2. Inherent Crises of the For-Profit World
Capitalism is driving social and ecological collapse
3. Dawning of a New Era
The seeds of a not-for-profit economy are being sown
4. The Evolution of Business
The arc of the economic universe is bending toward justice
5. Workings of a Not-for-Profit Economy
A market economy can be innovative, viable, and not-for-profit
6. The Great Transition
A Not-for-Profit World is possible
7. Our Shared Story
We can create a Not-for-Profit World together
HOW ON EARTH UPDATES
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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. 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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. 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If you want to get involved or help with the book project in some way, please contact us at: email@example.com
Book cover image and design by Chiara Aliotta: www.untilsunday.it.
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