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March 2014

How on Earth Update

image credit: Nelly Volkovich

Dear Super-Fantastic Supporters,

We are writing to give you another update on the exciting progress of the How on Earth book project.    Sorry it’s taken us a while to get this to you, but we have been super busy, our heads and hands buried deep in research, writing and marketing.

First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the support you have given us, whether you’ve contributed to the crowdfunding campaign, pre-ordered the book, volunteered, or just given us good, old encouragement.  We deeply appreciate all of it!  Without your support, we would not be able to work with such dedication on this book project and get these much-needed ideas out to the world.

How is How on Earth going?

Since our last update, in November, we have been:

  • researching not-for-profit (NFP) enterprises all over the world,
  • investigating the legal details of NFP business in different settings,
  • delving into the macroeconomics of building a post-growth, NFP world economy, and (of course)
  • writing about it.

We’ve been uncovering some fascinating information, further confirming our original hypotheses and reassuring us even more deeply that How on Earth is an indispensable and timely book project.

Even the mainstream media is becoming more interested in the rise of the not-for-profit economy and the failures of the for-profit economy.  Jeremy Rifkin, the renowned president of theFoundation on Economic Trends, published his article about The Rise of Anti-Capitalism in the New York Times just the other day. In this article, he reinforces a central argument that How on Earth makes: that, as costs and profit margins continue to decrease due to a wide array of economic forces, not-for-profits will play an increasingly essential role in the economy.

Additionally, the report that Oxfam published in January, highlighting the shocking fact that the 85 wealthiest people in the world own as much as the poorest 3.5 billion, has led even more people to question some of the main assumptions that underpin our current for-profit economy, like the efficacy of trickle-down economics and the sanctity of the right to accumulate private profits. These findings set the perfect stage for some of How on Earth’s other main points, like the current shift from the profit motive to the purpose motive, the shift from privatizing profits to reinvesting profits, and the shift from the accumulation to the circulation of wealth and resources.

The Power of Three Words

In the process of writing, we’ve been trying to keep putting fresh ideas from How on Earth out into the world in the form of articles, workshops and talks.  The Power of Three Words is our latest article, which clarifies the power of not-for-profits and why we’re so strongly dedicated to using the words “not-for-profit” rather than “for-benefit” or “for-purpose”,  as some have recommended.  Aside from allowing us to have a good reference point to steer people to when confronted with questions like “why not-for-profit?”, publishing such articles on websites likeFilms for Action, Sustainable Brands,,Sustainable Man and other great websites  also help us spread the word and build an even bigger base of support for the How on Earth book project.

Website Coming Soon!

We have also been working hard with Chiara Aliotta, of Until Sunday design studio and Chris Hehn, a fantastic independent web developer, to get the How on Earth website up and running as soon as possible.  This is also part of our strategy to try to build ever-more momentum for the release of the book.  We will show you a sneak peek of the website in our next email update!

When Will the Book be Published?

Our original plan was to publish in late April, however, due to the unpredictability of researching and writing about such a complex topic (i.e., creating a macroeconomic framework for a sustainable world), we have had to move our timeline back.  We now anticipate publishing in the autumn, probably in October.  We appreciate your patience, understanding, and faith in our process.   We had to make the decision of whether to rush and get the ideas out in April, all be it, missing some important insights that we are currently investigating, or to delay the publishing process in order to make sure we’re getting things right.  We chose the latter.

A Helping Hand

There are two things you can do to help us launch this project faster and with greater impact.  First, please tell everyone you know about the book project, spread links to our articles around, and encourage people to pre-order the book so they can read it as soon as it’s published.  Second, you can contact us ( if you have the time and energy to help out. We currently have some research tasks with which we could definitely use a hand (or many hands).

Again, thanks so much for your amazing support and encouragement!  We are working  very hard towards the day when we can share our work on How on Earth with you in its entirety!  And we will have another update for you soon.


Jen, Donnie, Ollie, Phil, Fernanda, Sharon, Chiara, Chris, Gudrun

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