Allison Fine wonders what good "unthinkable" things might be possible. I think the "unthinkable" is the thing to think about!
Sean Stannard-Stockton is the president and chief investment officer of Ensemble Capital Management, located in Burlingame, CA, midway between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. From 2006 through 2012, Sean authored the Tactical Philanthropy blog and wrote regular philanthropy columns for both the Financial Times and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. In 2012, Sean officially ended the blog to focus on growing Ensemble Capital.READ MORE »
Sean, this concept of thinking the unthinkable brought to mind a conference held recently at Oxford to discuss ‘A New form of Capitalism’.
Now back in 1996, a boom time in the US economy, nobody cared to think about reforming capitalism, but the point at which we started, by defining a new paradigm and presenting it to the US President, than publishing it on the web, free to use.
Now I was reading an article written after the conference by Tom Watson, who kicks off with the assertion that social enterprise was built on the orthodox model of capitalism.
Later in the article, there’s reference to Matthew Bishop suggesting something unthinkable, that social entrepreneur seek government funding for their ventures. As you know from what I’ve related earlier, that’s something we’ve been doing since 1999.
For David Cameron this year at Davos, ‘kinder capitalism’ was unthinkable, but that doesn’t mean it hadn’t been thought of – just that it hadn’t had so much media exposure before.
For thoses who may not have heard this tale before: Six years ago, the man who’d proposed this concept in 1996 was fasting for economic ans social rights from a tent in Chapel Hill NC, where John Edwards was Senator. I tried to raise awareness with a pastiche of Capra’s ‘Meet John Doe’and momentarily got the attention of an ABC news reporter. If you know the storyline life didn’t imitate art and she dropped me. He believed that to wealthy ABC sponsors, such obvious criticism of US capitalism was both unthinkable and unpalatable. 5 years later we saw cities of people in tents.
So, let me now offer something unthinkable, that this new economic paradigm doesn’t depend on eliminating people either by genocide or starvation, which was the theme of a presentation to the Economics for Ecology conference for 2009 in Sumy.
The manifesto, published just a year ago, to put people in front of greed based on imaginary numbers.
You know what happened next.