A new CSRwire series on creating the healthy economy begins on Talkback.
By Ron Schultz
When the editors at CSRwire asked me to write a blog series based on my forthcoming book, Creating Good Work – The World’s Leading Social Entrepreneurs Show How to Build a Healthy Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), I suggested that we invite the 20 other contributors who collaborated with me for the book to join me in these weekly discussions.
They readily accepted.
The book is about how social innovators are leading the way toward building a healthy economy for 100 percent of the population. The Creating Good Work blog series will explore similar themes, from the perspective of over a dozen of the leading authorities operating in the field today. My fellow contributors will not only theorize about what can be done, but also share what is being done to rebuild an economy so that it is both vital and healthy.
Characteristics Of A Healthy Economy
The characteristics of this healthy economy are, at the same time, diverse and interdependent. Three of its key ingredients are:
- An ability to nurture resilience: an ability for a system to adapt and change and allow for adaptation and change in others without blowing out the boundaries within which It operates;
- Creating work that is meaningful and purposeful: work that is generative and benefits others as opposed to work that is more extractive and benefits the few over the many; and
- The willingness to establish enough wealth for 100 percent of the population as opposed to establishing work systems that produce vast wealth for the few and less for the many.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his last book before his death, Where Do We Go from Here, Chaos or Community?
“Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the Kingdom of the brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of Communism nor the antithesis of Capitalism, but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truth of both.”
Pioneers In Building A Healthy Economy
Building a healthy economy is not an unattainable utopian dream. It’s being constructed at this very moment.
It’s happening in the work of SecondMuse, an organization creating large-scale collaborations to solve pressing social issues like dealing with waste and pollution, energy and water resources. We see it in the work of Paul Herman and the HIPInvestor and his financial index and scorecard on the Human Impact + Profit being generated by both big and small corporations.
It’s more than evident in the work of Benetech and its use of new technology to solve issues from landmine detection to a Napster-like library of books for the blind. And many of us may have directly experienced it at a variety of “Taste of the City” events that are benefits for Share Our Strength and their work to end childhood hunger.
All of these organizations and their leaders will be contributing to this blog, providing a perspective not only on what is possible, but what is being built. Creating Good Work is about what is being done to benefit our communities and to improve our local economies. The Creating Good Work blog will provide a tremendous resource of social innovation and examples of social innovators doing, at work, changing how things get done.
Deliberate Disruptive Design
One of the themes of the book Creating Good Work -- initiated by another of our blog contributors, Craig Dunn, Associate Dean of Business at Western Washington University -- aptly describes what social innovators do as “Deliberate disruptive design.”
That is our promise for this blog space - to consistently deliver deliberate disruptive designs that shake up what is often unshifting and to generate new action that make this a better world for 100 percent of us living in it.
Next: A “capital” idea for investing in local development.
About the Author:
Ron Schultz is founder of Entrepreneurs4Change and the author/editor of 23 books including Creating Good Work – The World’s Leading Social Entrepreneurs Show How to Build a Healthy Economy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.