The return to business-as-usual after the economic earthquake that rocked financial markets, wrecked banks and brought to light the grotesque distortions of casino capitalism on people and planet must be resisted. A new form of capitalism is both necessary and possible as some forward-thinking political, business and civil society leaders have now recognised. This book is about the myriad problems that we face and the systemic changes that are necessary for all enterprises in whatever sector and however constituted to operate within sustainable limits, to lower their ecological footprint, to enhance social equity, and to develop a sense of futurity. Waddock and McIntosh argue that enterprise, innovation and creativity, like conversation, caring and sharing, are part of what it means to be human. They argue that we need to redefine our relationship with commerce to reconcile our relationship with the Earth.
The authors see the seeds of economic change in new and fundamentally different forms – in entrepreneurship, networks, governance, transparency and accountability – already being planted and beginning to grow. To nurture these developments, they believe that we need to learn to "see" in new ways to begin to recognise their worth and to create a sufficiently broad, coherent and integrated social movement for change that can overcome the momentum of the current system. Incremental change – CSR, for example – will not be enough. Deep change is needed in the purposing, goals and practice of business enterprise. Deep change is needed in the ways that we, as humans, relate to nature and natural systems under severe stress from resource overuse and depletion, a quadrupled population during the 20th century, and human impact on climate. And deep change is needed in the ways in which we relate to each other, use our time and build our communities. This book documents some of the changes that are already in progress and provides optimism that a sustainable enterprise economy geared to innovation, creativity, problem-solving, entrepreneurialism and enthusiasm for life can produce wealth, preserve the natural environment and nurture social capital.