Getting Off the Couch

Jan 5, 2012 6:30 PM ET

Getting Off the Couch

The TakeAway:   Last year we became conscious of the breakdown in public trust and its civic moral and economic consequences—and what average people can do to make a difference. This year we’ll get off the couch and work to refuel the engines of democracy and capitalism, of liberty and prosperity, to promote community well being, for decades to come.  Here’s the beginning of a series on how.

“2011 set the table.  2012 has the potential to accelerate the ‘revolution’ toward the new corporation agenda,” Allen White wrote to a group of us the day after New Year’s.  “Growing wealth disparities between managers and workers, regressive taxes, privatizing gains while socializing losses, ‘too big to fail’, hyper-leveraged organizations linked to financial destabilization and dislocation—these are among the many, linked conditions that are bringing unprecedented scrutiny of the purpose and design of corporations,” he wrote.

White, who’s a Senior Fellow with Boston-based Tellus Institute for a Great Transition, was referring to the fact that, despite the “volatility and hardship” of 2011, it was a year that also provided hope—perhaps falling short of “urgently needed systemic change,” yet offering “glimpses of the possible.”  White also drew upon remarks made at last year’s World Economic Forum by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which underscored the importance of “revolutionary thinking and action” to bring about sustainable development in all aspects of modern life.  He was signaling to those of us affiliated with Tellus’ Corporation 20/20 project – now in its tenth year – that 2012 bodes well for redefining the purpose of business within a larger public interest context, in which questions about purpose and meaning – affecting economic, political, and civic life – are raised and, more importantly, addressed.

I couldn't agree more. The signs are everywhere. 

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The Murninghan Post is a gathering is a gathering place for sharing information, ideas, deliberation, and strategic action for reforming our corporate structures and capital markets. The aim is broad but clear: to provide you with tools and knowledge that will assist in the transition to a prosperous, sustainable, and just world, in keeping with human and ecological well-being. By subscribing, you'll be smarter and more effective as a change agent. More importantly, you'll help us be smarter and more effective as a change agent, too.