Owning Our Future

Owning Our Future Cover

Owning Our Future

The Emerging Ownership Revolution

By Marjorie Kelly; David C. Korten (Foreword by)

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Paperback, 9781605093109, 246pp.

Publication Date: June 4, 2012


All of the current attempts to address the economic collapse are overlooking an essential factor: ownership. So long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing monetary returns per quarter for a narrow group of individuals the economy will be subject to crippling boom-and-bust cycles. But now people are experimenting with new forms of enterprise ownership--we are in the midst of the most creative period of economic innovation since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Marjorie Kelly calls these new forms generative: life-serving, aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. They are in contrast to the dominant ownership designs of today, which can be called extractive: aimed at extracting maximum short-term financial wealth.

To understand these emerging ownership alternatives, Kelly reports from all over the world, visiting a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, a multi-billion-dollar employee-owned firm in London, a foundation-owned pharmaceutical in Denmark, a farmer-owned dairy in Wisconsin, and other places where an economy that works for all is being built.

This is not a moment for old solutions and tired approaches. As we enter a new era of limits, alternative ownership designs can help it become a new era of fairness, sustainability, and community.

About the Author
Kelly is cofounder and editor of Business Ethics. She has been a driving force in the movement to bring social responsibility to business since 1987. She lives in Minneapolis.

David C. Korten worked for more than thirty-five years in preeminent business, academic, and international development institutions before he turned away from the establishment to work exclusively with public interest citizen-action groups. Korten earned his MBA and PhD at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He has written numerous books, including Agenda for a New Economy, the international bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, The Great Turning, and The Post-Corporate World.