An Overview of the Commons Society
Private ownership for the Common Good
A new business model for the 21st century
Increasingly, extractive profit alone is being recognised as an unsustainable global operating system. Narrow definitions of wealth and the transactional money system divert us from meeting our real needs.
Whilst private ownership fosters creativity and entrepreneurship in the productive economy, both less-regulated (free) and more-regulated (social) markets rarely provide stable enabling environments for sustainable growth or regenerative economic development.
‘Unreal’ secondary markets allow mergers, takeovers and the sale of companies, often when businesses are starting to be successful. This means that assets are sold, purpose is changed or redefined by new owners, generating anxiety and loss of morale on the part of both management and workers. It also means that shareholders stop being investors and become speculators and the legacy of originator owners can be lost.
On the other hand, public ownership presents profound challenges, often suppressing creativity, agility and accountability due to political short-termism resulting in inconsistent leadership.
However at this point in the 21st century we are on the threshold of welcoming a third phase of capitalism, that might be termed “the self regulated market”, in which new blends of ownerships and hybrid organisations solve these long standing problems. (Otto Scharmer ‘Seven Acupuncture Points for Shifting Capitalism’)
Commons Societies deliver functional self-regulating businesses that take into account the human and environmental commons and provide a creative, enabling and collaborative environment in which all may flourish.
In a Civil Ecology Enterprise Network private ownership and common ownership work synergistically deploying corporate wealth for the common good, without trammelling entrepreneurial freedom and creativity.