In March 2017, a book has been published in German by the oekom Verlag, called Wirtschaft neu erfinden: Grundlegung für eine Ökonomie der Lebensfülle (Reinventing Economy: Laying the basis for an economy of abundance of life). My English working title for this book is “Rethinking Economy.”
In this book I address the questions how an economy of abundance of life might look like, and how it might be designed using existing elements
In order to understand which changes in our current economic institutions and patterns of behavior are necessary and sufficient in order to effect a successful transformation to an economy of abundance of life, I use methods of systemic analysis. In this approach, I try to understand which existing feedback loops lead to or reinforce problematic patterns of behavior. I visualize these feedback loops by the use of graphics. On this basis I develop proposed solutions, of which I expect that they can achieve large impacts by means of relatively small interventions. The necessity for change requires large impacts, but the respect for the social, cultural, economic and political structures that have evolved over centuries requires relatively small interventions. The art of change consists of reconciling these contradictory demands.
Among other things I suggest:
- determining the purpose of the economy and of individual businesses in alignment with the goal of augmenting the abundance of life,
- well thought-out implementations of the principle that property rights entail obligations,
- designing the financial system as a public infrastructure,
- complementing existing social-security systems with a self-determined service for the common good,
- various forms of democratic decisionmaking in economic and political institutions.
I conclude the book with suggestions for a strategy of transformation that utilizes the present crisis as an opportunity. The book is to provide useful tools for a path that is only created as we walk on it.
An English draft of the book already exists, and I hope to find a publisher for it soon.
Summary of the book, on Commons Abundance Network
A piece in which I explain how I created the systems graphics in this book: 2017. How to make a systems graphic to understand shared enterprises. Shareable.