The Emerging Ownership Revolution
All of the current attempts to address the economic collapse are overlooking an essential factor: ownership. So long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing monetary returns per quarter for a narrow group of individuals the economy will be subject to crippling boom-and-bust cycles. But now people are experimenting with new forms of enterprise ownership - we are in the midst of the most creative period of economic innovation since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
Marjorie Kelly calls these new forms generative: life-serving, aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. They are in contrast to the dominant ownership designs of today, which can be called extractive: aimed at extracting maximum short-term financial wealth.
Kelly reports on emerging ownership alternatives from all over the world, visiting a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership in the UK, foundation-owned Novo Nordisk in Denmark, a farmer-owned dairy in Wisconsin, and other places where an economy that works for all is being built.
This is not a moment for old solutions and tired approaches. As we enter a new era of limits, alternative ownership designs can help it become a new era of fairness, sustainability, and community.