There is a way our economy can work for everyone. It involves profits circulating continuously through our economic system, rather than accumulating at the top.
Imagine there was a simple way our economy could serve all people and the planet. Imagine we could evolve beyond capitalism to a system that inherently promotes individual health, community wealth and planetary well-being, while maintaining the best aspects of our existing market economy.
Not only is such an evolution possible, it’s already on its way.
How on Earth is a forthcoming book that documents the rapid rise of not-for-profit forms of business in our economy and the foreseeable end to the profit motive in our lifetimes. The scholarly work reveals an emerging future of purpose-driven companies that naturally promote financial circulation, social well-being, and environmental regeneration. Indeed, some of the world’s most profitable companies operate as not-for-profits, deliver important social outcomes and are outperforming their for-profit competitors. A realistic market-based alternative to capitalism exists, and is already taking hold across multiple sectors.
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!
A social systems designer, Jennifer Hinton Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Lund University studying the social dynamics of the biophysical resource economy. 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.
For media inquiries and to be added to the list for review copies, please contact us here.
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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