Economist, Professor Noreena Hertz, who for more than two decades has made accurate predictions about economic trends, has named ‘Co-op Capitalism’ as the next economic era.
In a paper published by Co-operatives UK, Professor Hertz says: ‘The model of capitalism that was dominant for the past 30 years has clearly failed. It’s time to embrace a new model of capitalism, Co-op Capitalism, for reasons of social justice but also enlightened self interest.
“Co-op Capitalism offers a new way forward that reconnects the economy with society and puts collaboration, community and the collective first.”
The ‘Co-op Capitalism’ paper highlights how other countries, with a more co-operative mindset, are growing because of a more collaborative relationship between the state, market, individual and society. It also highlights how businesses that embrace the Co-op ethic are weathering the economic downturn better than traditional ones.
According to Professor Hertz, the next economic era of ‘Co-op Capitalism’ will have four distinctive characteristics:
- Community and collective will be valued as we recognise that connections allow us to achieve more that we could by ourselves.
- ‘How’ we interact will matter, as the process and quality of relationships is viewed as integral to what it is we achieve.
- Connections and networks will be recognised as having economic and social value.
- Collaboration will be recognised as having the potential to trump competition.
Adds Professor Hertz: “In the Co-op Capitalism era, the businesses that thrive will be those that acknowledge the power of collaboration, are able to engage in meaningful ways with their customers, workers and suppliers, are proficient in investing in long term relationships and embrace the ethos of co-creation and co-design.”
Commenting on the publication, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK says: "It is no coincidence that in thriving economies such as the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) fifteen percent of their population are member-owners of co-operative enterprises. Cooperation is a proven global model that is well-equipped to meet new economic needs.”
• Read an extract from the report, 'Co-operatives provide opportunity for a fair economy'.