Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution, Journeys to a Generative Economy

Marjorie Kelly, Author, David C Korten, Foreword by
Marjorie Kelly. Berrett-Koehler, $19.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-60509-310-9
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Kelly (The Divine Right of Capital) pre-sents us with alternative designs to the corporate economic structures that have their heart in Wall Street. These “generative structures,” as she calls them, are working models based on social well-being and ecological sustainability. Ideally, generative designs embody models of belonging “self-organized around the needs of life” —its sine qua non being a sense of ownership that takes a long view; a “living purpose” as opposed to a strictly financial purpose. Her attack then is focused against short-term–biased forms of predatory financialization: “extractive” ownership, high-frequency trading, and credit default swaps. Yet with statements like “Capital is master. Labor is servant” and her presentation of Wall Street finance as a sort of enemy, one may mistake Kelly’s work as an anticapitalist screed. Her goal, however, is to reimagine capitalism as a more inclusive game that accounts for the social and ecological implications of economic production. Moreover, she is interested in analyzing “social architectures” (“who will make economic decisions, and how, using what kinds of organizing structures?”), while fostering “ownership in the hands of stakeholders intimately involved with the tangible workings of the enterprise.” Though Kelly does not present specific solutions, she succeeds in demonstrating how more sustainable business ventures can function in practice. (July)
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