An Integrative Economy
Key Concepts for Building a Vibrant Future for All
At this period in our history it doesn’t take much to realize that economic and financial systems in the US and the world are in dire straits and in need of change. In this period of fundamental change within our economic, financial, environmental and social systems, the need to transform our economy is at hand. In taking this step, we can create a safe, secure and vibrant future for all.
An Integrative Economy is a proposed concept for a new, transformative economy. It includes the best of all the previous economies, agricultural, industrial, service and knowledge while transforming critical elements to meet the needs of the 21st century. An Integrative Economy is a shift of focus from a “quantity of stuff” to a “quality of life” as the foundation for our economy. This shift results in better outcomes for all people and the planet.. In order for an Integrative Economy to fully emerge here are four critical factors that must come into existence.
Add a New Employment Sector
As unemployment rates remain surprisingly high, there’s a need to launch a new employment sector that will supply the work and organizational design that supports an Integrative Economy.. Much of this type of work falls under the current designation of non-profit sector. Since we don’t measure the non-profit sector separately within the GDP, this current work remains in the economic shadows. It is time to recognize this work as characteristic of a distinct employment sector. It is equally significant as the current market and government sectors. In doing so, we can measure the economic impact accordingly and build different funding structures that support this vital work. This newly delineated employment sector, “Local Community Capacity” (LCC), can absorb the rising unemployment occurring as the current consumer-driven economy transforms into an Integrative Economy. These changes will allow “Main Street” to thrive, our middle-class to recover its critical economic role and the new Integrative Economy to blossom.
Add New Economic Measurements
Major economic transformation requires new measurement tools that build beyond the current limitations of the GDP measurement. This is already beginning to happen. Great Britain and China announced that they will measure more than the quantity of goods and services as GDP does. They’ve added “quality of life” measurement tools as a new factor in determining the health and vibrancy of their economy. An Integrative Economy requires these type of measurements, too.
Adopt New Wealth Creation and Accumulation Options
Shifting wealth creation and accumulation beyond traditional money, power, possessions and property sets the stage for an Integrative Economy. In a “quality of life” economy, one needs far less money and goods and a great deal more cooperation and compassion. This cultural value change shows that wealth is also found in relationships and connection to community and the earth. New wealth forms like volunteer exchanges, local currency and environmental connections help to ensure the success of a new, transformative Integrative Economy.
Embrace Transformational Change
Just as our agrarian forefathers watched our economy transform to an industrial/service, consumer-based economy, today we are part of a similar transformation. We can choose to resist or embrace this inevitable change. As an Integrative Economy takes hold, the next generations will live differently than we did in the 20th century, but different does not mean less. An Integrative Economy offers us a truly remarkable way to embrace change that will result in a safe, secure and vibrant economy for all.