Christian Felber and Gus Hagelberg
This essay was originally published on February 27, 2017 at The Next System Project.
The Economy for the Common Good (ECG) is a comprehensive and coherent economic model and is being practiced in hundreds of businesses, universities, municipalities, and local chapters across Europe and South America. It represents an alternative to both capitalism and communism. It emerges out of a holistic worldview and is based on “sovereign democracy, stronger democracy than exists today.
The model has five underlying goals:
- ownReuniting the economy with the fundamental values guiding society in general. The ECG encourages business decisions that promote human rights, justice, and sustainability.
- Transitioning to an economic system that defines serving the “common good” as its principal goal. The business community and all other economic actors should live up to the universal values set down in constitutions across the globe. These include dignity, social justice, sustainability, and democracy. These do not include profit maximization and market domination.
- Shifting to a business system that measures success according to the values outlined above. A business is successful and reaps the benefits of its success not when it makes more and more profits, but when it does its best to serve the public good.
- Setting the cornerstones of the legal framework for the economy democratically, in processes which result in concrete recommendations for reforming and reevaluating national constitutions and international treaties.
- Closing the gaps between feeling and thinking, technology and nature, economy and ethics, science and spirituality.