Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution

Friday 13 July 2012, by Astrid Salvans

"What do a lobster cooperative in Maine, Great Britain’s largest department-store chain, and a foundation-owned pharmaceutical in Denmark have in common? They are all pushing forward innovative ownership models that writer Marjorie Kelly identifies as generative — aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. In a series of reports from all over the world, Kelly shows how these and other flourishing enterprises are proving more nimble, sustainable, and even more profitable than traditional forms of incorporation that are proving poorly suited to meeting the world’s urgent sustainability challenges. Along the way, she identifies five essential patterns of ownership design that make these models work.

Owning Our Future is a groundbreaking work described by Natural Resources Defense Council co-founder Gus Speth as "seminal" and by environmental hero Bill McKibben as "magnificent...hardheaded [and] clear-eyed." Seventh Generation co-founder Jeffrey Hollender said about Owning Our Future, "As a serial entrepreneur who’s started three traditional shareholder-owned businesses, I know from experience what’s wrong with that model. The future belongs to the alternative forms of ownership Kelly writes about. This is a book the world desperately needs."

It is a must-read for social entrepreneurs, sustainability professionals, small business owners and everyone else who believes we need to start thinking out-of-the-box and scale up alternative economic forms that generate prosperity without extracting too high a price on society or the earth’s ecological systems."

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