Weekend Readings - Towards a New Capitalism?

Last update on 01 marzo 2013.

Weekend Readings - Towards a New Capitalism?

Millenials (in North America) have a completely different life and work expectations than their parents do. They want to combine traditional capitalist values with a high sense of purpose. Their buying choices are also influenced by their perception of the ethical behviour of a company and by the desire to make responsible choices which will affect positively the people involved in all of the supply chain.

The front figure of this profound change in North America would be food giant Whole Foods. A Forbes/Ashoka article explores this "councious capitalism" through a Q&A session with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. To him, the best way to ensure long-term profit is to avoid focusing on the profit aspect of business. 

Many students these days wish of starting their own company that will generate positive social impact or of working for such a company. Creativity and value creation seem to be at the core of how thei envision business. Is this the Rise of Indie Capitalism?

Are crowdfunding websites like kickstarter and the rise of social platforms at the core of this shift? Maybe. But maybe this new type of capitalism is really a return to core values. Ever read Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations? “What needs to emerge, and in some circles is emerging, is what I call a mutual, or reciprocal, economy that focuses on the needs of both the individual and the collective.”

Do you believe capitalism is changing?

For more interesting articles, we invite you to visit our Scoop It topics.

Have a lovely weekend! 

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  1. Simon Sarazin

    Simon Sarazin on 04/03/2013 11:44:39 #

    I think yes, Capitalism is changing, but in lots of case, it is trying to benefits from this P2P initiatives as a "free labor " without returning the favor. That's what Google, Facebook or Apple are doing with this Billions of profit not returned to people, and it's going to be the same for AirBnb or Couchsurfing.org website.
    I think it's the new P2P economy (as wikipedia or free software model) that is at the core of this shif. But this P2P economy is in conflict with this new capitalism, but actually dependent to it. In this "P2P economy", the best way to ensure long-term social impact is to avoid focusing on the profit aspect of business but to focus on collaborative and "good commons" aspect. That's what Michel Bawens explain in this article :
    - http://ouishare.net/fr/2013/02/michel-bauwens-capitalisme-peer-p2p/ (it should be in english soon)

  2. Corinne Havard

    Corinne Havard on 08/05/2013 17:43:43 #

    I think we need to differentiate between using a business model to bring positive social value and the P2P economy.
    (I don't believe Google, Facebook nor Apple fit into either of these categories)

    In the former, the notion of profit remains. I won't speak for Millennials in other parts of the world, but here, people do have this wish to be an entrepreneur, launch their business & make a good salary from it, while creating positive social or environmental impact. Call it the newer, younger, "North American dream". The profit generated in this new type of business is used to ensure the organization's long-term independence, to attract investors and to reward the entrepreneur. Because the belief that someone creating important value for their community should be financially rewarded remains. And people do consider that in any team, the entrepreneur is the person creating the most value since without him, the organization and the value it creates wouldn't exist.

    Now, the P2P economy is slightly different. They are based on networks of people who cooperate. And yes, the people do create most of the value. But careful! The motivations aren't always the same and so is the type of value creation. Websites like couchsurfing were users help each other free of charge to one another (I'll lend you a bed for free for a few days) do attract people who are animated by a community-oriented mindset and who truly want to help one another. There is no economic incentive to help the other! In this context, I do understand the resistance to having the organization profiting from the desire to help one another.

    However, in the case of Airbnb, which you've cited, I believe the situation is slightly different. People who offer a room or apartment are financially rewarded for doing so and do receive the largest amount of the money charged to the renter. It's great because it might help a family make additional income. But it is only normal in this case that Airbnb, which offers this service to a "person as an enterprise" be able to receive some of the financial value created from it. After all, for every actor involved, the value created is first and foremost economic.


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