I read Gus Speth's The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and the Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (2008), before I met the man. I recall it ending on something of a down note, with an acknowledgment that the environmental movement had in many ways failed to fulfill its mission and a sense of "over to you next generation." Fortunately, however, and to my great personal enrichment, Gus did not quit.
Like most environmentalists who came of age following the publication of Silent Spring, Gus no doubt underestimated the forces working against the interests of the planet, mostly the unintended consequences of an economic system whose destructive side effects we did not comprehend, or did not want to acknowledge. Gus's brave and bold new book, America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, confronts head-on the enormity of the challenge facing America. It is the unfolding of a powerful vision—grounded in a scientific understanding of the planet’s life support systems—for retaking our democracy, and restoring an economy in service of people by one of the true sages of the New Economy movement.—John Fullerton
“Rarely have so few imposed such damage on so many.” So begins Bill Moyers’ Foreword to attorney Jeffrey D. Clements' galvanizing book, Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It, a fascinating and disturbing account of the backstory of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission. Clements frames Citizens United as the most far reaching in a long line of Court decisions that have promoted the rights of corporations over those of real people. For those of us who care about the future of the corporation and who seek to create corporate forms that support the transition to a more just and regenerative economy, Clements' book reminds us that we must first ensure that our democracy is not stolen out from under us by present-day corporations disguised as people.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde at Center for Global Development, Washington DC.
Since we originally posted our interview with Clifford Rosenthal, the long-time President and CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the CDFI industry has continued to face considerable challenges. However, it has also moved towards resolving many of its long-standing problems in the past 2 years.
The Evergreen Cooperatives, the subject of a Capital Institute Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy study published last year, is profiled along with other community-wealth-building projects, in the newly revised documentary Fixing the Future by David Brancaccio. Evergreen has also launched an enhanced website featuring videos and the latest developments at the Evergreen cooperative companies.
Since we posted our profile of More for Mission (M4M) in June 2010, the organization grew to a total membership of 96 foundations. In May 2012 M4M and Program Related Investment Makers Network (PRI) combined to form the Mission Investors Exchange.
If the Rio + 20 Earth Summit demonstrated little else it was that national, regional, community, and company initiatives are fast filling the vacuum left by the dismal failure of global leadership to effectively address climate change and other ecosystem emergencies. These ad hoc approaches present opportunities as well as challenges to the institutions and economies that are the first to take action.