- Next-generation enterprise design
Next-generation enterprise design
We are advancing an entirely new concept of the company—a just and democratic firm designed for a new mandate: to serve broad well-being and the public good.
Even many corporate CEOs concede that in an era of extreme wealth inequality, chronic and systemic racial disparities, and a climate emergency, it is past time for corporations to continue to act as if serving the profit demands of shareholders is their highest duty. Yet, even as they talk more openly about the need to be accountable to a broader set of stakeholders as part of their corporate purpose, what’s missing from that conversation is the truth that what must shift is ownership.
We are calling for change in the structural design and ownership of the corporation itself. It is time to make the profit-maximizing, shareholder-controlled corporation obsolete and replace it with a structure rooted in democratic control, economic justice, and the well-being of the whole community.
Since the 1970s, a range of new corporate forms, including democratic enterprises, have been advancing—employee ownership, B Corps, public banks, community land trusts, impact investing. Many of these were invented by activists and progressive intellectuals, and each now forms an important part of the democratic economy ecosystem. The credibility crisis now faced by corporate capitalism opens the opportunity to more powerfully advance these and other inventions over the next decade. These elements can serve as harbingers of an emerging archetypal model that can serve as a North Star for redesigning large corporations for the public good.
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