Wealth of the Commons
change is in our hands
More wealth has now become concentrated in the hands of the elite than in the years leading up to the stock market crash of 1929. The middle class has lost trillions of dollars in accumulated wealth, largely transferred to the top of the economic pyramid.
Much has been written about this phenomenon, but solutions are in short supply. Doesn’t so much power concentrated in so few hands leave the rest of us powerless? Actually no, there are vast resources available to us.
Those resources reside in the “wealth of the commons,” our shared natural resources and the human resources in our hands and heads. The key is figuring out ways to redeploy those resources to directly benefit society and the planet, not just the few.
The current system can survive only if we keep feeding it. By turning our energies in other directions, we can fundamentally change the world for the better.
The futurist Buckminster Fuller famously said "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a NEW model that makes the existing model obsolete." We at the Commonwealth Group have taken his words to heart.
Today we have unprecedented tools for collective efforts, like the Web, email, social networks and so on, that can rapidly assemble groups of likeminded people around a common goal. All it takes is a small, dedicated group to develop a plan and take it to the rest of the world. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” We think it is time to change the world.
Financial systems are the key
At the heart of all our institutions is the need for money. Money is directed and controlled by the world’s financial systems -- systems that are ripe and ready for fundamental change. There are signs that those financial systems are already collapsing.
In the meantime, as in nature, other organisms spring up in the gaps left by the old dominant system and the more those new organisms nurture and support each other, the more likely their survival.
Applying those ideas to financial systems, we have identified the following areas where we can create new means by which the world of finance can serve us rather than the other way round. We refer to these replacements as Public Benefit Financial Institutions.
We are active in the following areas:
See Our Programs for an overview of these activites.