Funding Governance for Systemic Transformation — r3.0 Blueprint #8 — From Extracting Surplus to Regenerating Sufficiency: A Critique of the Current Funding Governance Systems

This is part 3 of a series of Medium articles on r3.0’s newest Blueprint, released on September 6, 2022, at the 9th r3.0 International Conference in Amsterdam and online. This third part covers the generic critique of current funding governance. It will be followed by two Case Studies in parts 4 and 5 of this series. The full version of the Blueprint can be found here.

This chapter lays out our critique of the current funding governance system. The critique shows how many existing funding systems, despite their ostensible positive intent, are so bounded by the current extractive capitalist economic system that they operate as an inadequate corrective to the dysfunctional system, in essence simply reinforcing a highly problematic status quo, and creating more illusion than practice of positive impact. The job of this chapter is to analyse this dysfunction, in order to set foundations for the rest of this Blueprint to explore what a more functional funding governance system, what we call a “regenerative funding governance” system, would look like. If we want to govern funding flows regeneratively, the mechanisms must exist that ensure resources (including, but not exclusively, financial resources) flow to regenerative work (regenerative funding) and be supported by governance mechanisms to ensure this happens. The work involved must not solely be the domain of those privileged with wealth and time, as is the current case with existing philanthropic and socioeconomic systems.

If one were to start with a blank slate to design an economic system that provides for comprehensive social and ecological sustainability and regeneration, would our current system be the outcome? The answer is an unequivocal NO: our current economic system, whose design requires extraction, exploitation, and colonisation, has long been generating:

  • Ecological devastation — evidenced by climate chaos, biodiversity loss through the 6th mass extinction, and the breaching of Planetary Boundaries, [1] and
  • Social destruction — centuries of entrenched racial and gender inequality, obscene wealth and power concentration, systemic human rights deprivations — including more enslavement now than when slavery was a legal institution, and genocide.

The ecological and the social are interconnected: especially in the western and technologically-focused cultures, people have been separated from their own sense of agency, isolated from each other and encultured into a largely extractive relationship with the natural world.

How did this come about? Perhaps the most concise diagnosis of the problem is that our current provisioning system focuses on surplus, instead of sufficiency. Its orientation is to the allocation of scarce resources, rather than stewarding for the (re)generation of natural abundance. A globalised economic system based on capitalism has emerged to provide the goods and services we humans rely on to fulfil our needs and wants. Box 1 explores some of the history, from the shift to agriculture, a focus on generating surplus, and the age of mercantilism and the current highly extractive dynamics of wealth accumulation and concentration.

BOX 1: HOW DID WE GET TO WHERE WE ARE NOW?

The dynamic around growth and accumulation has deep roots in human history, where the evolution from hunter-gatherer provisioning to agricultural provisioning represents the initial shift from sufficiency to surplus strategies.

To be clear, surplus can be an incidental outcome of a sufficiency strategy; the problem arises when surplus becomes the goal of the strategy. This development of human evolution is understandable, swapping uncertainty for stability. [2] Essentially, surplus accumulation is a de-risking strategy. In arguably the largest ever stroke of luck, the shift to agriculture, with its relative carbon intensity, as well as deforestation and methane from rice paddies, introduced globalised warming trends that essentially offset the planetary trajectory toward cooling, resulting in the “Goldilocks” epoch (“just right — not too cold, not too hot) of the Holocene over the past 10,000 years or so.

However, luck only lasts so long, as the search for surplus is the ultimate cause of the epochal shift from the Holocene into the Anthropocene. This epochal shift occurred in 1610, when European colonial settler genocide of Indigenous populations (through biological, physical and cultural extermination) created a discernible dip in atmospheric carbon concentration due to vast abandonment of agriculture in the so-called Americas — the first ever human-induced geologic-scale planetary shiftwas triggered by this continental-scale colonization in search of surplus. [3] The dip was short-lived, however, as the global slave trade fueled a rapid rise in colonizer agriculture to replace (and intensify) the carbon concentration of the lost Indigenous agriculture.

The Mercantile Capitalism of early colonisation (~1500–1800) has experienced successive waves of replacement by Industrial Capitalism (~1800–1950) and now Consumer Capitalism (~1950-present), [4] but surplus capital accumulation (and mechanisms for achieving such — the extraction, exploitation, colonisation, and racialized dominance of Christian men of European descent who came to think of themselves as “white“) is the common denominator. This power extends to the present day — as evidenced through material presented in this Blueprint through networks of privilege that are entrenched by the philanthropic system in particular, and the associated systems it intertwines — including the “NGO industrial complex”, and the financial and consultancy systems, for example.

END OF BOX 1

The question arises: can we now replace the relentless pursuit of surplus with a more balanced approach of achieving affluence through sufficiency? The key is a right-sized fit between our wants and needs, on the one hand, and our means on the other, in a dynamic, emergent, ever-evolving participatory process for navigating the chaordic zone between chaos and order. [5] Capitalism purports to create affluence, but it does so through wealth concentration, not wealth distribution, so the flow of abundance is one-way, from those with scarce financial capital to those who already have abundant financial capital (and power). One of the reasons why it prevails is that in the “developed world” and amongst middle classes everywhere, capitalism has created a seductive mirage of more and more to consume whilst masking the fact that it is based on scarcity everywhere else. Ironically, capitalism’s goal of surplus capital accumulation actually prevents affluence, because it blocks the flow of abundance, instead pooling it in ways that concentrate wealth — and by extension, power. [6]

And to be clear, our critique of the existing funding governance — and the overarching capitalist system it is currently nested within — should not be interpreted as a call to return to a hunter-gatherer economy, or to repudiate markets. No, with a human population projected to level off at 10 billion, we fully understand and appreciate the necessary role of markets for intermediating the meeting of human wants and needs within the planet’s means. We simply believe inthe need for regenerative funding governance to optimise resource flows in ways that are both sustainable and just.

In the remainder of this Chapter, we examine the working dynamics of surplus accumulation, and how current structures for resource redistribution ironically serve only to reinforce this surplus accumulation system. A superior system focuses instead on cyclical, regenerative resource flows.

To aid in our understanding of the current economic system, we take a graphical representation approach to help visualise its mechanics — and diagnose its problems. Figure 1 below is a simplified representation of our existing economic system.

Earth, living things, humans, and ecosystems underpin the current economic system, which treats them as resources to draw from in a linear (value chain) fashion, with no intention of creating a closed loop that regenerates these resources. [7] The diagram shows the fundamental activity of extracting energy and materials from nature (natural capital) and humans (human capital and social capital) to produce goods and services to meet human needs and wants, which results in two primary outcomes — consumption and waste — and a secondary artefact of profit, via the extraction of surplus value (the remainder after netting product sale against cost of materials, plant, and labour) by for-profit organisations.

Figure 1: Basic Model of Power/Authority over Financial Flows [8]

Loop 1 (“Markets”) encapsulates the continued pursuit of surplus value through reinvestment and borrowing to create the conditions for further profit. Of course, generating this continued secondary outcome of financial capital accumulation also creates parallel accumulation of consumption and waste (that are intentionally not represented in a loop, as they are linear processes.) The market pricing mechanism externalises all costs other than material acquisition, labour, and taxes — hence burdening the earth and its ecosystems, as well as generating burdens for current and future generations of human societies.

To ostensibly address these systemic problems, the mechanisms of private philanthropy and public subsidisationhave been tacked onto the economic infrastructure to explicitly seek social benefit.

Loop 2 (“Governments”) represents one mechanism for redistribution of surplus value by governments through taxation. This process provides citizens with goods and services that aren’t delivered through markets, and also supports programs to mitigate the adverse impacts of original extraction — in other words, to counteract the negative externalities of market activity. Tax revenues are also used to create goodwill and even buy off opposition to the existing system, while also stimulating further demand to fuel the existing system, including through subsidisation of market actors. Clearly, the funding governance of these resource flows is in the hands of governments, which demonstrate varying degrees of responsiveness to the wants and needs of citizens and the land base they inhabit.

Loop 3 (“Philanthropy”) represents a parallel mechanism for redistribution of surplus value through philanthropy, which serves the same functions as Loop 2 in terms of mitigating the adverse impacts of the original extraction; creating goodwill / buying off opposition and stimulating demand. Government plays a key role in Loop 3, by creating the taxation framework that incentivizes philanthropy as a means of offsetting taxation via voluntary financial expenditures on social benefit. However, additional benefits also accrue to philanthropists, including reputation enhancement as well as asymmetric power to control the composition of the social fabric as stewards of funding governance with little accountability.

This diagram is clearly a simplification. More recent additions to the capitalist model, including corporate social responsibility (CSR), impact investing, social enterprise, stakeholder capitalism, and benefit corporations are not represented here. However, in essence, they seek to tweak the economic system, without fundamentally transforming its core underpinnings. While they may ameliorate some symptoms, they fail to tackle root causes, resulting in a net effect of ensuring their own perpetuation while entrenching the existing dysfunctional economic system. And in recent years, the idea of philanthrocapitalism9 has been proposed to bring neoliberal methods to “doing well by doing good,” wreaking even further havoc on people and the planet.

To be fair, many of the mechanisms in the previous paragraph are capable of generating significant social benefit, and in many cases are doing so. For example, benefit corporations provide an alternative legal structure that enables companies to pursue activities other than mere profit maximisation without being found legally derelict of their fiduciary duties. But this expansion of legal latitude does not overturn the fundamental underpinnings of the existing capitalist economic system.

As well, business and investment activity is also capable of generating social benefit, when viewed through blinders that obscure the countervailing effects of the overarching economic system design. The larger point is that creating social benefit in our current context requires going against the grain of the prevailing economic system. In other words, such social benefit efforts are doomed to ultimate failure, nested as they are within a dysfunctional economic system.

In the Three Horizons terms established in the Introduction, Figure 1 represents Horizon One (H1), or the status quo. One could make a case that Loops 2 (Government subsidisation) and 3 (Philanthropic granting) represent Horizon Two (H2), though we would argue that they are so deeply embedded in the status quo that they are actually part and parcel of H1. At most, Loops 2 (Government subsidisation) and 3 (Philanthropic granting) represent H2-, or dynamics that reinforce H1.

The question remains: what are the funding governance mechanisms, and how do they either 1) reinforce the existing economic system, or 2) enable the emergence of a regenerative and distributive economic system?

Figure 2 adds important insight to our model by representing a fourth loop which further reinforces the existing extractive, profit-oriented economic system.

Figure 2: Additional Power Dynamics via Loop 4 Reinforcement

Loop 4 (“Reinforcement”) illustrates the dynamic of outsourcing through financial and consultancy services that blankets the entire economic system in an additional layer that serves to further reinforce the systemic outcomes of consumption, waste, and profit accumulation. This influence and power is not limited to Loop 1, which is already focused on profit-maximisation, but is also experienced in Loop 2 and Loop 3 that are ostensibly intended to counterbalance the “unavoidable” adverse impacts of the economic system.

Financial services such as banking, accountancy, audit, and insurance reinforce the existing economic system by supporting and protecting the profit-making imperative.

Consultancy services — now also often provided by major financial service providers — help set the rules of the game, for example by providing advice to governments over the legal, regulatory, and funding frameworks that define the ways in which the different loops outlined here can operate. Importantly for our inquiry, these consulting services play a key role in structuring the funding governance system in ways that align with and reinforce the first Loop of the capitalist economic system. As well, much employment in this fourth loop, which would also include what the late economic anthropologist David Graeber calls “bullshit jobs.”[10]

These approaches, often also taught in business schools, tend to reflect an overall “efficiency” orientation characterised by the pursuit of economic growth and scale, and largely detached from an understanding of the needs of broader ecosystems and societies. Familiar features of this include: orientation to short-term goals such as quarterly and annual targets as means of assessing progress; upward accountability to Boards and shareholders with minimal consideration of the impact on people and planet; and high levels of executive pay to those who are seen to deliver successfully on this agenda. Again, through the provision of consultancy services, and the entire “leadership development” industry, some of these features also influence the way many philanthropists and NGOs operate — including agendas of their own institutional growth, and a broad centre-to-periphery orientation with offices in the capitals of the Global North, from where they reach out with programmes in the Global South, mirroring patterns of the extraction of resources from the Global South to support global business growth.

Detailed evidence for these assertions about the current dysfunctional funding governance systems, is contained in two Blueprint Case Studies:

  • Regenerative vs. Corporatized Nonprofits: Subverting or Replicating Capitalist Values? This Case Study examines how not-for-profits have increasingly adopted corporate attributes, enhancing their effectiveness at fundraising and their efficiency of management, while undermining their ability to challenge the corporatized status quo. The Case Study in particular focuses on the predominance of corporate representation on not-for-profit boards, and the ballooning of executive compensation in ways that make it difficult to discern not-for-profits from corporations. To illustrate potential problems, the Case Study contrasts The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and 350.org, with the former exemplifying a corporatized nonprofit, and the latter exemplifying a more regenerative nonprofit.
  • Funding Governance Dysfunctions: Idiosyncratic or Inherent? Scrutinising the Relationship Between Bezos Earth Fund & IKEA Foundation Funding and Science Based Targets initiative’s Self-Biassed Conflicts of Interest. This Case Study explores the hypothesis that funder and fundee governance mirror each other, reflecting the dysfunctions of the overarching capitalist system dynamics of extraction, exploitation, and colonisation. Specifically, it outlines well-documented governance dysfunctions at the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), where the interests of the not-for-profit were prioritised over that of the public it is supposed to serve. Potential causal connections are also drawn to dysfunctions at IKEA Foundation and Bezos Earth Fund, in their role as SBTi funders.

From a Three Horizons perspective, Loop 4 (Reinforcing financial and consultancy services) clearly falls into the same category of Loops 2 and 3 as represented in Figure 1 — entrenching the H1 status quo, or at best H2- reinforcement of H1.

Moving into our core focus on funding governance, Figure 3 lays out in detail the adverse effects produced by the current economic system including its governance and ethical challenges. Let’s consider them in turn.

Figure 3: Governance Failures in Existing Economic System

Consumption & Waste: As we noted at the outset of this chapter, the design of the existing economic system creates unwanted, “unintended” outcomes. These include ever-rising levels of inequality, unsustainable levels of demand on irreplaceable resources (as compared to indigenous traditions documented in later case studies that approach resources from a sufficiency perspective), and inter-generational inequity on top of the above intra-generational inequity.

From a surplus / profit perspective, both production and consumption warrant maximisation — the fact that waste results is simply a “problem to be managed” as it is seen as external to the economic system. Upstream, resources are conceived to be infinitely available — human ingenuity can always overcome resource depletion through resource substitution, according to current economic system assumptions; downstream, the impacts of resource use are conceived to be infinitely assimilable, regardless of carrying capacity constraints.

On the ecological front, our current economic system assumes the earth can assimilate all pollution. This is of course disproven by the market failures of runaway climate change and irreplaceable biodiversity loss (among other ecological dysfunctions), which demonstrate how our current economic system overshoots ecological thresholds systemically and systematically.

On the social front, our current economic system undershoots social thresholds systematically, requiring a majority of the human population to assimilate the adverse social impacts of gross inequality and insufficient social provisioning. An ethical and sustainable economic system would deliver social benefit comprehensively and systematically.

Loop 1 “Markets:” In the current economic system — in which conventional investment funds and pensions are all implicated — accountability is conceived to accrue primarily (or even exclusively) to shareholders. Formal legal accountability is limited to profit and being a “going concern” — with the exception for benefit corporations and other alternative corporate forms (such as social enterprises), though even these operate within the context of the existing economic system. Accountability directionality is oriented upward to directors/shareholders, essentially ignoring accountability to other stakeholders or rightsholders, where relationships are not intermediated by financial concerns.

Loop 2 “Governments:” Government intervention, far from serving the public interest of all citizens, instead reinforces another set of perverse outcomes, including the following:

  • Losses socialised — citizens bear the brunt of adverse impacts from the financialized provision system.
  • Risks subsidised — instead of leaving rentiers to absorb the risk they create, the government steps in to subsidise those risks and thereby artificially prop up the “free” market.
  • Wins privatised — instead of distributing the spoils of surplus value back to the originators (such as workers whose labour creates profit), these spoils are “privatised” to capital providers (who already benefit from surplus capital accumulation).

The failings of Western liberal representative democracy to justly redistribute vital resources through taxation and other mechanisms are increasingly being recognized, taking the following forms:

  • The “rotating doors” between for-profit organisations, lobbyists, regulators, and government
  • The ideologically driven hollowing out of the civil service sector
  • The increased outsourcing of work
  • The reduced oversight and challenge to what government does
  • The lack of transparency
  • Failed anti-trust regulation resulting in market failures due to excessive industry concentration

Loop 3 “Philanthropy:” Viewed through this lens, philanthropy is seen less as a vehicle for the provision of broad social benefit, and more as a vehicle for the provision of very narrow social benefit — namely, to the philanthropists themselves, at the expense of the purported beneficiaries of philanthropy. Indeed, in order to qualify for charitable status in most jurisdictions globally, an organisation cannot carry out activities deemed to be “political” — in other words, anything that meaningfully challenges the status quo. This system is exemplified by the following characteristics:

  • Supportive tax regimes — instead of funnelling surplus profit into government provisioning systems, tax regimes incentivize wealth hoarders to circumvent taxation by funnelling excess wealth into tax exempt vehicles that concentrate the lion’s share of this wealth (~95%) back into the market (adding yet another reinforcing loop of negative outcomes), while allocating a meagre 5% to grant-funding to fulfil the ostensible social benefit of the organisation’s mission. [11] Tax incentives actively promote philanthropy, but philanthropic spending is far less subject to democratic control and oversight than government spending. Essentially, philanthropists “buy” the right to decide on how best to provision social benefit, displacing accountable representatives of the people’s will with representatives of wealth hoarders. In other words, those who have generated sufficient surplus wealth to require tax regimes to incentivize them to redistribute it, do so in ways that shield them from tax liabilities and burnish their reputations, and may (or may not) incidentally produce social and ecological benefits.
  • Weak accountability — Perhaps due to the pervasive myth of philanthropy as an altruistic activity, there is precious little oversight of the philanthropic sector. There are two aspects to this. Firstly, the weakness of downward accountability to grant beneficiaries, who are disincentivized from seeking to hold philanthropic organisations accountable, lest they “bite the hand that bakes their bread.” As Joe Doran of the Lankelly Chase Foundation commented as part of the research into this Blueprint, “Philanthropists’ primary clients are asset managers, not grant beneficiaries.” Secondly, as ‘‘The Corporatized Nonprofit’ case study makes clear, Foundations aren’t accountable to the public for failing to accomplish anything. “Unlike labour unions, church groups, membership organisations, or even business lobbies, large foundations, and grant-funded nonprofits aren’t accountable to the people whose interests they claim to represent and have no concrete incentive to win elections or secure policy gains,” they said.

Loop 4 “Reinforcement:” Perhaps the most important service that outsourcing renders in the existing economic system is obfuscation, as the “behind the scenes” dynamics of financial and consultancy services essentially obscures their adverse impacts from view.

Financial services are dangerously assumed to be neutral, when in fact financial services primarily reinforce financial capital accumulation and thereby financial capital concentration.

Consultancy services set the rules of the game in ways that favour capital accumulators

  • Legal, regulatory, and funding frameworks: Consultancies support the proliferation of toothless “selfregulation” which reinforces capital accumulators’ co-option of the State.
  • “Efficiency” orientation; target setting; linear thinking; short-termism; levels of remuneration: All of these dynamics can be leveraged to reinforce the status quo economic system.
  • Upward accountability: The current orientation of accountability is wrong: mechanisms for holding the already-powerful accountable to those with less power have been weakened and compromised. Those with less power are ironically and tragically held to higher standards of accountability.
  • Centre-to-periphery orientation: While innovation typically originates from the margins (in both ecological and social systems), the current economic system ignores and excludes what is outside the mainstream. The Chorus Foundation Case Study later in this Blueprint is a practical example of periphery orientation.

The necessary intermediation of financial and consultancy services in the philanthropic and government subsidising sectors — as well as the other sectors oriented toward social benefit provision, such as CSR, impact investing, social enterprise, and benefit corporations — serves to reinforce the overarching extractive orientation of the “for profit” business. This consolidation serves as a massive driver of the sense of “there is no alternative” when it comes to the substantive content of everything from legal and regulatory regimes, to the sense of what counts as “efficiency,” to what is reasonable executive remuneration. [12]

Downstream of loops 2–4 is the wide-ranging and diverse group of what are often called “partner” organisations and agencies. This includes for example UN Agencies, civil society organisations (CSOs), and research institutes that function as links in the delivery chain between funders and ultimate “beneficiaries.” They have limited capacity to drive meaningful bottom-up orientation, hamstrung as they are by legal demands for upward accountability. Instead of countering the prevailing forces of extraction, exploitation, and colonisation inherent in the capitalist economic system, these organisations frequently end up entrenching them, due to their entanglement with the existing system.

Earth. Ecosystems & Living Beings: Accountability requires all affected parties to have voice in order to articulate boundaries and boundary-crossings. However, the “voice” of earth, its ecosystems, and all living beings is weak or absent in decision-making in the current economic system. Sometimes, proxies are empowered to give voice to the wellbeing of the earth, its ecosystems, and living beings — but more often than not, these considerations are simply not considered “material” to economic system decisions. The overarching natural and human system suffer accordingly. The Earth, Ecosystems, Living Beings, and Humans are viewed simply as resources to be exploited, indefinitely, linked to indefinite consumption as a positive and other externalities as problems to be mitigated and managed, instead of designing overconsumption and externalities out of the system.

From a Three Horizons perspective, the governance failures identified in Figure 3 validate the interpretation advanced until this point that the existing funding governance system advances H1 dynamics established in the status quo, or at best represent isolated instances of H2- dynamics that ostensibly advance from the status quo while in actuality simply reinforcing H1 business-as-usual.

Figure 4: Summary of Funding Governance Failures

To conclude, Figure 4 summarises the case made above: we are currently locked into — and currently all implicated in — a system which generates outcomes inimical to the well-being of the earth, ecosystems, and all living things, including humans. Privileging the market and profit-orientation, excess consumption and waste are perceived as external to the system, and as problems to be managed — often by future generations; the fact of unsustainable use ofresources, particularly fossil fuels, is denied. [13] This situation is reinforced by an economic and financial model where the prime accountability is to markets focused on short-term profits, in an economy dominated by large corporations.

More recent developments, such as CSR and B Corps, can soften this reality, although sometimes they are little more than “green-washing”. Western representative democracy achieves some redistribution through taxation, but “state capture” by economic interests is frequently apparent, not least in the at best half-hearted attempts to address market failure. Redistribution through philanthropy makes a modest contribution to engaging with and sometimes ameliorating the most egregious problems of our times, but it is bound up with the status quo through tax privileges and is limited by a “charity” mindset and legal frameworks. Reinforcing this market/for-profit orientation is a whole industry of financial and consultancy services — let alone the pen-pushers in massive faceless bureaucracies – for whom “there is no alternative”. This industry exerts its influence all the way down the distribution chain for philanthropic and government resources, through CSOs, UN Agencies, research institutes and down to the ultimate “beneficiaries”. Whilst some of them make a valiant effort to challenge the status quo, almost all are hamstrung by financial and legal demands for upward accountability, many of them fearful to bite the hand that feeds them.

In short, the case for regenerative funding governance is based on this: we cannot carry on as we are; we are facing the ultimate collapse of multiple vital ecological and social support systems.[14] Modifications to business-as-usual can no longer serve, if they ever could. We have to find alternatives. There is no clear single way forward; of necessity, it may well be a case of making the path by walking it. A vast amount of alternative funding governance work is already happening. The case studies, action learning, and patterns in the rest of this Blueprint record the steps of some of those who have already started the journey.

Notes:

[1] M. Leach, K. Raworth and J. Rockström (2013), “Between social and planetary boundaries: Navigating pathways in the safe and justspace for humanity,“ in World Social Science Report 2013: Changing Global Environments, OECD Publishing, Paris/Unesco Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264203419-10-en

[2] Both the uncertainty and the stability are each relative, of course, as hunter-gatherers experienced significant stability through the regenerative provisioning of the ecosystems they existed in, while the stability of agricultural surplus has its limits. What is often overlooked is that hunter-gatherer lifestyles were healthier (due to more diverse nutritional inputs) and less labour intensive, enabling significant leisure.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] See http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Chaordic_Organizations_-_Characteristics

[6] For a deeper analysis of the question of affluence, see: James Suzman. 2017. Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen. Bloomsbury USA. Thanks to Rodger Mattlage for pointing us to this source.

[7] See Bill Baue & Ralph Thurm. 2020. Blueprint 7: Value Cycles — From Value Chains and Circular Economies to System Value Cycles. r3.0.,8 September 2020. https://www.r3-0.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/r3-0-Value-Cycles-Blueprint-Final.pdf

[8] Please note that this representation moves from right to left, intentionally “hacking” the traditional left-to-right progression, to underline the positive subversion we intend for this work.

[9] Matthew Bishop & Michael Green. 2010 Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World. New York: Bloomsbury Press.

[10] See https://www.strike.coop/bullshit-jobs/

[11] Carl Farish. 2020. The 5% Rule Explained. Pacific Foundation Services. January 2020. https://www.pfs-llc.net/blog/the-5-rule-explained/

[12] Again the “The Corporatized Nonprofit: Disrupting Capitalism‘s Dysfunctions, or Replicating Them?” details an example of this. The Social Movement Investing Study Group included in the Action-learning Chapter also noted hostile culture and legal barriers as constraints to Social Movement Investing.

[13] The sheer depletion rate compared to the energy density of fossil fuels amounts to a crime against future generations, not to mention the waste pollution generated by such bonanza overuse.

[14] The degrees of collapse are the subject of an entire emerging field of study, “Collapsology,” but we take it as a given that human and earth systems are in advanced stages of collapse to varying degrees, and that understanding this reality enables us to approach our lives in the context of navigating collapse by hospicing collapsing systems and birthing new systems.

Earlier parts of this series:

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