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Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Building an Economy That Works for All

As long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing financial income for the few, our economy will be locked into endless growth and widening inequality. But now people are experimenting with new forms of ownership, which Marjorie Kelly calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2012 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Rob Kall
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. inspired me to interview the author
She's a deep bottom-up systems thinker who has a vision of a world that is very different.
Michael Layden
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and looking at the colourful mess of stick it tags sticking out of it, it is a book with a lot of quotes and information that I will return to. Indeed I have ordered three books mentioned in it.
It covers a lot of ground I have been watching over the last two decades. She visits many projects in the third sector. Some I was familiar with but many I had not heard about. What is useful is her deep knowledge of business ethics which she is able to bring to focus on company struct
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Extremely thought-provoking. This book looks at the interaction between the way that corporations are structured (e.g. designed for continuous growth + profit to shareholders) and their subsequent behavior and interactions with the community. Importantly, it doesn't just break down why the "typical" financial structure tends to lead to negative outcomes for the environment and workers. It also provides a lot of interesting positive examples and sets out some ideas for ways that company ownership ...more
Tony and Rosa
Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Marjorie Kelly’s Owning our future was a breath of fresh, honest air after Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics. What worries me is that the two will be lumped together because both come vaguely under the heading of “green economics”. Raworth clearly thinks her book is in some way based on Kelly’s work. It worries me that Kelly might think the same.

Kelly’s book has smaller ambitions, but delivers them with honesty and authority. The book makes the case for different forms of ownership by starting w
Shante' Zenith
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspirations
Kelly describes the difference between ownership that is extractive versus ownership that is generative in a very similar manner to the way that Hyde describes the difference between the gift and the commodity. Kelly’s book starts in very concrete terms as she describes the events that led to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and she includes several illuminating graphics illustrating the way our economy operates. In the second section of the book Kelly describes examples of companies and individual ...more
Mills College Library
307.14 K2978 2012
Ryan Kish
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very pleasantly surprised! This is not some stupid virtue-signaling authoritative book. Kelly challenges us the rethink the financial system whereby capital employs labor. Why can't labor employ capital? She walks through lots of businesses that have already structured themselves in ways different than the traditional public firm structure. Supplier-owned, employee-owned, and community-owned firms. They are profitable, and after reading this, you might believe they are inevitable. ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kelly proposes an interesting take on the future of the world economy and gives us glimpses into how these systems of economics work today in the real world. If you're interested in seeing the world post or mid-capitalism, this is definitely a must-read. ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars if it weren't so repetitive. 5 stars if it were better organised and the theory properly developed with graphs and such. ...more
Patrick Tsai
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read a lot of books that make me angry, well this book made me hopeful. Of course there was the angry part about the extractive culture of corporate ownership, but it was balanced with stories of companies following, what Marjorie Kelly calls, the generative economic model of ownership. This involves enterprises with community focused missions and more democratic internal structures. There is a detachment intrinsic in Wall Street's world of casino finance. A generative economic model seeks to ...more
Seerat Toor
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Owning our future is a very absorbing piece of work, a prototype book on the subject which has intrigued human civilizations across the globe since time beyond history and record. Marjorie Kelly the beautiful and insightful author has cleverly decoded the highly encrypted principles of the present-day economic models and has opened the public-eye to the juggernaut of their exploitative fundamentals. Kelly has wonderfully interweaved the latter most leveraged system design with the one just emerg ...more
Mark Sarney
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Marjorie Kelly since I read The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy. This book, Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution, takes you on her mental journey from her thinking in Divine Right (reforming capitalism before it destroys itself) to highlighting emerging changes that could be capitalized on to stop capitalism from destroying the planet as well as society. (And no, she's not advocating socialism, communism, or nationalization of the ...more
Sudheer Madhava
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Marjorie Kelly first shows us how the current capitalistic business model is unfair and unsustainable and shows how modern business practices and laws favouring the "one percent" contributed to the current financial mess the world is in.

She then takes us on a ride into an unexplored (by mainstream media) but surprisingly large world of democratically run successful business entities like cooperatives, financial instituions (which actually serve local communities) and other such organizations whi
Economics of Compassion Initiative
This book, published in 2012, fills in the outline of what it takes to confront the reality of our current economy which is based on taking resources from our world – "extractive" ownership. Kelly counters this economic reality with the idea of "generative" ownership – "self-organized around the needs of life," an economic structure that has a "living purpose."

She offers concrete examples of alternative ownership structures like the employee-owned and governed Island Cohousing created by South M
Wow. Marjorie Kelly bowled me over. So much wisdom packed into such an enjoyable book.

Based on dozens of describes the reality of our current "extractive" economy and presents the opportunity to transition to a "generative" economy. Specifically, according to Kelly, "ownership is the gravitational field that holds our economy in its orbit, locking us all into behaviors that lead to financial excess and ecological overshoot." A new model of "generative ownership" on the other hand, can be the fou
Tom & Beverly
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most hopeful books I have read in years. We always like to read about ideas that agree with our world view and this is one. I have always felt the idea of BIG CONTINUOUS growth that the stock market prices depend on was unrealistic and she makes that point over and over again. She gives some great examples of successful companies and organizations that are not exploitative and successful.
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was a fun read because it talked about a lot of people I'm friends with and organizations that I know. Interesting examples of ownership structures that are a lot more beneficial to society and the environment. I had never heard of John Lewis Partnership before, and it's a huge company in England that is employee owned, so that was interesting. Didn't find the book to be particularly well written or anything. ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kelly takes us on a journey to first discover what went wrong with our current "growth" economic model. But she doen't leave us there. This is a hopeful book that then presents several examples of businesses that take different approaches. All of them enhance and value their communities, workers, and members. This book is life-affirming and a must read for all citizens who long for real change. ...more
Miriam Holsinger
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wowing book - must read for anyone who is an ardent capitalist or anti-capitalist. Kelly spells out complicated financial concepts in a humanizing way and shows the road to a brighter future without demonizing anyone but empowering us all.
Samuel Lubell
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club, nonfiction
An economics/business book postulating a new form of corporation, a public benefit corporation, run for the benefit of everyone, not to maximize shareholder profits.
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