How to tranform markets

One of the visions of P2P Theory is that we are moving towards a new type of society that is centered around a core of non-reciprocal peer production, but that still has vibrant reciprocity-based gift economies, transformed markets informed by peer arbitrage, and state institutions informed by multi-stakeholdership governance.

But how do we change markets? I have previously presented the ideas of the advocates of the natural capitalism approach, such as Peter Barnes, Hazel Henderson, David Korten, Paul Hawken.

In the UK, the New Economics Foundation is doing good work on this. Here’s a copy of their strategy:

Through a systematic approach, nef’s work on transforming markets seeks to define the changes we need at the individual and institutional levels. It challenges the structures, institutions and actors in the economy that are blocking real changes to corporate incentives and behaviour. The objective is to develop advocacy and action-related strategies that will see real change begin to take place.

  • Develop a strong ‘vision’ for a sustainable society: what organisations and businesses will we need to get there? How do we tackle (or phase out?) companies whose core business is ultimately harmful to society?
  • Unpack the existing ‘chain of pressure’ in the marketplace, from consumer behaviour to the norms in the businesses and investment community that currently maintain the status quo.
  • Define alternative behaviours and institutions that will enable different, sustainable outcomes.
  • Identify the incentives required to change these behaviours, including relevant regulation or rewards. These can act at all levels, from tax incentives to an international competition authority.
  • Identify and understand the ‘ethical minnows’ – companies with a deep ethical stance that still capture smaller shares within the market – and what’s blocking their growth.
  • Establish a series of initiatives and/or actions (such as campaigns or ‘toolkits’) to bring us to the next generation of CSR: a social equivalent of the NASDAQ; redefine ‘intangible assets’ or galvanising the chocolate industry to change the way commodity markets work. ”

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