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Book review: People Over Capital: The Co-operative Alternative to Capitalism (2013)



People Over Capital, from the magazines Ethical Consumer and New Internationalist, is a collection of essays looking at the co-operative model and its benefits. It seeks to kick off a new global debate about the future of alternative business models.

The book argues that as scientists are pointing to increasingly dangerous levels of climate change and habitat destruction, developed countries are facing their worst economic problems for a generation and social movements are calling for change, suggesting the current model of capitalism is not working.

The series of essays set out how the co-operative model could address some of these issues and predict what would happen if co-operatives replaced private businesses across every economic sector.

Writing the foreword, Ed Mayo, secretary general for Co-operatives UK, says, “If the claim of capitalism is that a system focussed on and oriented around the accumulation of capital best serves society overall, than the idea of co-operation is its natural opposite.

“Co-operative models of economic life are focussed on forms of wealth creation in which the needs of capital are subservient to the interest of the people involved.”

The essays are split into sections each with a specific focus, such as history and current opportunities, the sustainability of the future and co-operatives impacts on a wider economy.

The 14 different perspectives, from a variety of people including economists, academics politicians and campaigners, offered in the book gives readers a broad understanding of what a co-operative is and an insight into prospects for the future, as well as the models potential impact.

Mayo concludes, “To deal with contemporary challenges of inequality and climate change, we need co-operation at all levels. The values of co-operative self-help and mutual aid are more relevant that ever for those who wish to see shared prosperity and the emergence of a sustainable economy.”

Books & Films

Book Review: Ubernomics




Step inside the next generation of economics, business strategy and investing.

In this radical business book, Barbara Gray makes it clear that all is not as it seems. Just when we think we know the rules of the road, we find we have hit the age of economic abundance—and surprises await.

Gray navigates us through this journey with great insight and acuity, sharing stories and case studies about a new breed of “rebel with a cause” companies such as Starbucks, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Uber, whose founders relish disruption of the status quo. Taking us through the highlights of her research, Gray reveals her discovery of the next generation of business strategy for companies looking to create economic abundance and rise above the competition.

Barbara Gray is a former top-ranked sell-side equity analyst and the founder of Brady Capital Research Inc., a leading-edge research and strategy consulting firm. She has more than fifteen years of sell-side equity research experience in Canada and the United States covering a wide range of sectors. Barbara has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of British Columbia (1993) and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1997. She lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two sons.


Ubernomics is über-needed by any organization that wants to be around in the next five years. Read it and you’ll be here for fifty–and more! Barbara Gray is half brilliant analyst and half seer. The result is a book that is both crystal clear and a crystal ball.”
–Joey Reiman, Chairman, BrightHouse and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

“Barbara is one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts who covered lululemon. Ubernomics gave me a framework to think about the sharing economy capital structure and the value that can be gained from that.”
–Christine Day, CEO, Luvo (former CEO, lululemon)

“Barbara’s overall analysis centering on the three new values of advocacy, connection and collaboration is very powerful. And the examples, both of firms born in the new economy and others trying to adapt to it, are fascinating.”
–Jean-Claude Larreche, Professor of Marketing, INSEAD, and author of The Momentum Effect


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Books & Films

Book Review: Business as an Instrument for Societal Change




Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over all these years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership – one fit to repurpose the business world and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs.

The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom – combined with key insights from business and public leaders – creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practitioners and general readers alike.

Tideman unites the scientific worldviews of physics, neuroscience and economics with the positive psychology of human relationships, and ancient spiritual wisdom, to formulate practical business leadership solutions. At the heart of this book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose. This ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society, which Tideman terms ‘triple value’.  We can achieve triple value by aligning societal and business needs, based on the fundamental reality of interconnection.

Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is a readable and intelligent exploration of how leaders can actually help to shape a sustainable global economy by embracing innate human and humane behaviour. It is also Tideman’s fascinating personal journey, which brought him to question the underlying motivations and goals of business leadership and to seek a new paradigm for a more sustainable approach. Reflecting Tideman’s sharp perceptions and infused with the Dalai Lama’s unmistakable joy, this book has the power to change your way of thinking.


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