The following is a small book written by Chuck and I. On this page is an overview of the entire paper. As you’ll see, we’ve broken it down into individual chapters to make it easier to read. Start here and then move on to the other chapters.
An Integrative Economy:
Building a Vibrant Future for All
Say the word economy or economics and most people’s eyes glaze over, they shrug their shoulders and want to change the topic of conversation. This despite the fact that we are feeling the continued reverberations of the “2008 Great Recession” and millions of people’s lives are being impacted by our economy! It doesn’t take much to realize that our economic and financial systems—in the US and the world—are in dire straits and in need of change.
At the same time, we’ve watched current economists and financial folks as well as government and corporate leaders try to get a handle on this crisis and solve it. To date, none have been truly successful even as the intensity of the economic meltdown has improved slightly since 2008. Unfortunately, they seem to be trying to jump-start the old economy instead of looking for a new economic approach.
We believe we are in a period of fundamental change within all of our economic, financial, environmental, and social systems. These changes are of such large proportions that we need to transform our economy into an entirely new model. We have advantages today that no previous generation has ever had; we can see economics from local to global levels and in the process see what’s working and what isn’t. Technology and information that’s available today enable us to see whole systems and all their interactive parts and design solutions that can produce win-win outcomes.
We believe that if we will open our minds and our hearts and allow ourselves to look beyond the current economy and its rules; then our system will be able to transform into the most innovative and dynamic economy ever. That’s what this booklet is all about. An Integrative Economy as a new model that, while transforming failing parts of our old economy, will result in the most vibrant, dynamic economy ever created.
This booklet builds a framework for learning about and working towards a new economy, an Integrative Economy. Changes in our economy reflect the on-going transformation of the human journey. It is a natural and expected sequence of human activity as we describe in Chapter 1, What is an Economy?, and Chapter 2, Transitioning to an Integrative Economy. History has shown humans have changed their economy several times over the last several thousand years. It is now time for us to release our attachment from the current Consumer/Service/Knowledge economy in order to create the next economy.
The rationale for any economy is realized in the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of human history. Chapter 3, The Description of an Integrative Economy, describes how this knowledge enables us to consciously include the best of all earlier economies yet transform their present day limitations to meet the needs of the next economy. It may be difficult for most people to comprehend an emergence of an Integrative Economy and their role in it. In Chapter 4, Meeting the Needs of an Integrative Economy, we propose a foundation including a new employment sector in addition to the current three sectors. We propose giving ourselves permission to expand our definitions of wealth and wealth accumulation to include community, relationships to humans and the earth and creativity. We can restructure the three current employment sectors and bring into existence a new employment sector with three distinct focuses. These four employment sectors will be a vital part of the Full Spectrum Employment of a thriving Integrative Economy.
The infrastructure to solidly support an Integrative Economy needs to be invested in just as we did in the early 1900s at the start of the Industrial/Consumer Economy. Chapter 5, Rationale for the Local Community Capacity employment sector, presents the case for cooperative investment in people and relationships; in focusing on human capacity development. This time it is not about roads and steel and machines. Success will require engaged humans who can think autonomously, bring new ideas forward and develop strong relationships skill that foster cooperative networks.
In Chapter 6, A Prototype Enterprise explains how we could implement the Local Human Capacity employment sector. Our new Integrative Economy is knowledge based. Knowledge itself becomes both a resource that can be sold and a tool that can be used to create other products and services that enhance the quality of life for all of us. Integrative Community Ventures, (ICV) is proposed as a prototype enterprise for establishing “Local Community Capacity” as a new employment sector within an Integrative Economy. ICV will fall under the Human Capacity Development focus of the LCC sector.
It is time to gather our resources and proactively design solutions for our proposed Integrative Economy. In Chapter 7, Summary and Conclusions, we describe how this is the time in human history that we have the global capacity to understand how all the major systems – human, earth and economics — can work together. It is this integration that the power for transformation will emerge and produce the solution we need for this era’s challenges.