Archives for posts with tag: constructive capitalism


I submitted a speaking proposal entitled:

How creativity will reinvent capitalism

“Stimulating the economy is not about tax cuts or new subsidies. Stimulating the economy is about reinenting the economy and its institutions through creativity. The old “capital” was all about machines and efficiencies, the new “capital” are living networks of many different kinds of capital: natural, human, social and/or creative. The goal has to be to seed those many different forms of capital most productively – nurture, allocate, utilize and renew them. Explore the first signs of this emerging movement to topple the old form of capitalism and build a more sustainable model.”

These are scary times.

Unemployment hovering around 9%. Real unemployment at 20%. A global debt crisis. A global demand crisis. A systemic crisis.

As I discussed before, we are entering the age of strife.

Institutions won’t save us. No President will save us. No party will.

We have to save ourselves.

Capitalism is a good thing. The current expression of capitalism is not. How can we transform capitalism as radically as it happened during Adam Smith’s era? It won’t happen through institutions, it will happen by all of us changing it. While we’re facing the abyss, a few of us have already jumped to the other, transformative side.

The new capitalism has to be about accumulating and saving any productive resource for tomorrow. We have to minimize economic harm and maximize creating real economic value. It’s less about exploitation and more about optimization.

Many people call this the age of constructive capitalism: We’re creatively destroying old institutions, building new institutions, founding on authentic, enduring and meaningful value. Stakeholder value vs. Shareholder value, allowing enterprises to play a more constructive and valuable role in society. It’s as revolutionary as the change from an agricultural society to industrial capitalism. The change from managerial/financial capitalism to a human business design will change the way we work and live. And reclaim our humanity.

It’s much bigger than just building better products and services – it’s about building better institutions first. Hank Paulson and Donald Trump wouldn’t recognize this form of capitalism. It is composed of a disruptive new set of cornerstones, geared for the new economics of interdependence. And it will flush out the dinosaurs of 20th century capitalism.

My goal is to explore this important topic at SXSW 2012. I believe there’s more to talk about than tools or platforms. We need to change the world.

And we need to start now.

Would love to hear your thoughts and any vote for my proposal is welcome.


Kummerspeck is a German word. Literally translated it means “grief bacon” – food that helps cushion negative emotions. Somebody dies: you eat a lot to deal with the emotion. Your girlfriend ditches you: let’s bring on the Doritos. Your team loses the big game: let’s have more nachos and add a gallon of artificial cheese.

There are so many reasons to eat: Hunger, habit, boredom, reward, emotional void and detachment. You add your own reasons as you see fit.  Typically, brands try to tap into these powerful feelings and exploit them: “Everything sucks? Reward yourself by eating 2,000 calories in 2 minutes.” or “Life is boring. We give you all these games and toys while you wolf down 4,500 calories on a super-mega-duper-we-are-all-so-happy-meal.”

And so people end up asking for seat belt extensions, fail in their yearly quest to slim down after the ball dropped and pretty much remain in this sad state of “I-wish-I-could-but-I-am-too-weak”.

What would happen if brands stop exploiting people’s feelings and, instead, tap into emotions to create a better good?

  • Once you had a burger and your fries, give them advice how to work the calories off, how to supplement your diet with other food, how to live a healthier lifestyle.
  • Develop tutorials how to defeat boredom when it comes to food. There are better things in life than eating food when you don’t know what to do with yourself.
  • Promote a healthier lifestyle by developing utilities that help people keep tap on their eating/drinking/work-out schedule.

In the emerging era of Constructive Capitalism, companies need to rethink their mission and vision of the future. Being enslaved to the demands of Wall Street has lead to short-term exploitation strategies and tactics. This era is coming to an end. It’s time for enterprises to look at their values. To find a new definition for growth, outside of the Wall Street norms. Becoming more human, more connected and focusing on outcomes. Not incomes.