Capitalism 2.0 – Part II

Written by Bunga

2017.04.01 Queer Dance Party – Ivanka Trump’s House – Washington, DC USA 02095
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We explored the core strength and challenge of capitalism. We looked at the coming collision between the “unstoppable force” of exponential economic expansion, and the “immovable object” of sustainability demanded by the planet’s finite resources.

And we asked a question.

What will Capitalism 2.0 look like?

This question fascinates me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Here are a few of mine.

I’m guessing Capitalism 2.0 will embrace the following.

Money and Meaning. Gen Y regularly gets accused of being lazy. But my sense is that the deeper issue is an unwillingness to devote their lives just to making money for the sake of money. They want their jobs to have both money and meaning – a key feature of Capitalism 2.0. When we only focus on survival and success, desire will sooner or later turn in to addiction. Sustainable capitalism requires explicitly supporting people, companies and marketplaces in making the shift from focusing just on their physical needs (i.e. money, desire, success and survival) to also embracing their spiritual needs (i.e. meaning, growth and giving).

An Increased Shift to Services. Value creates money – not the other way around. And there are two ways we can expand the economy – by producing/consuming more products or by producing/consuming more services. Buying more couches isn’t sustainable. Investing in personal growth services is. If you’re building a practice offering life-enhancing services, but you’re afraid to charge a lot for them, ask yourself the question, “what else would my clients spend the money on?” If you don’t charge as much as you can for your services, and your client buys couches with that money instead, look at how much your choice just cost the planet!

Long Term Focus. Greed happens when desire turns into addiction. By definition, addiction means making what’s important today a higher priority than what’s important tomorrow. It means over-prioritizing our immediate desires. And a key component of capitalism’s current addiction has been Wall Street’s obsessive focus on quarterly earnings and annual bonuses. Capitalism works much better when decisions and compensation are based on 5, 10 or even 20 year windows.

Valuing Consciousness. A related question is “what is conscious capitalism?” And a simple way I’ve found of answering it is by rating an organization on two dimensions.
1) What is the purpose of the organization? Non-profits traditionally embrace meaning at the expense of money. For-profits traditionally embrace money at the expense of meaning. CSR and social enterprises are initial examples of organizations seeking to embrace both.
2) How conscious are the people in the organization? This is a complicated but vital question, because what we do is often less important than how we are as we do it. However we measure it, consciousness rates the beingness we have as we do business.
Conscious businesses can be at least as profitable as unconscious ones. And they’re much more sustainable.

Evolving Notions of Ownership. As we currently view it, companies are owned by their shareholders, and their primary purpose is to increase the wealth of those shareholders. This notion goes to the heart of what has made capitalism such a powerful force for economic expansion. And it goes to the heart of what is turning this strength into an unsustainable addiction. It’s what has allowed Wall Street to hold Main Street hostage with insatiable demands for increased quarterly earnings. In contrast, I would guess that Capitalism 2.0 will involve an evolved notion of ownership. Think for a second. Who owns the US government? Who owns the Catholic Church? Who owns the planet?

Reinvention of Production. There’s nothing wrong with consumption of products – as long as we can find ways of making this process sustainable. How can we rebuild our system so that the true global costs of each product are factored in, and each company is responsible not just for the cost of production, but also for the cost of renewing the source and waste of that production?


Love and light,

P.S. To learn more about how to bring together money and meaning in your business, please feel free to visit

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