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17.07.2013

Introducing Capitalist Futures

by Yasmin Crowther

Everywhere you look, there are new books and reports on the future of the economy, democracy and capitalism. Some look back at how past societies have failed in order to try and identify the conditions and insights necessary for us to evolve and succeed today. Others look forward to try and identify the technologies and conditions walking towards us through the mist of the future that will help to deliver a healthier world and economy. Many offer hope and others promise – perhaps most realistically – ongoing complexity, confusion and conflict. So what is this blog about?

First of all, I should confess I’m not a natural blogger – I like to write reports and books and disappear behind the narrative and analysis; so no one sees the spade work going on behind the scenes. This blog will be different - I’m going to try and use it as a kind of thinking out loud; a gathering and sifting through material, and working out of key messages and gaps, identifying what people are doing and saying, and thinking about what else needs to be done or said – particularly when it comes to how capitalism is playing out, the long term challenges and way forward.

As a way in, to start with, I want to take a look at a whole variety of books and reports, written by ‘experts’, about the history of capitalism, where it’s gone wrong, and future pathways.  As a next step, I’ll look at pulling out some of the key themes and any contradictions from that reading, and share some interviews and feedback on key messages from a variety of business and thought-leaders.  Maybe, in the final phase, there’ll be a paper or report that then takes on a life of its own.

The picture at the top of this blog highlights a selection of books we plan to review in coming months, and it’s pretty certain to grow. Coming soon, we’ll start with Anatole Kaletsky’s Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy and then Niall Ferguson’s The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay & Economies Die.