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Sender: Evelyn Messinger
Subject: Re: A method in search of a question?
Date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014
Msg: 101124

This discussion of a carbon tax is exactly what I have been hoping to see in this list. The many opinions being expressed can be viewed as a mirror of how the public and even the pundits would discuss the issue if it were put forward in the political context. And grappling with a real world issue is the only way to learn if and what a transpartisan movement could look like.

Evelyn Messinger Executive Director Internews Interactive

On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 8:08 PM, Rick Raddatz wrote:

> I agree with Michael S that internalizing externalities is the ideal way > to achieve sustainability, but there are still two big problems. > > 1) The true cost of the externalities are so great and 2) the barrier for > industries to outsource to countries less concerned with such externalities > is so low that achieving true sustainability is impossible. > > The solution, I will argue, is implementing cap-and-prioritize at the > national level, letting it spread around the globe (carrying democracy, > capitalism and social justice with it). > > Economizing collective resources in pursuit of social justice may seem > unrelated to economizing future resources in pursuit of sustainability but > only when the world is full of nations mature enough to economize > collective resources will we finally have a world mature enough to > economize future resources. > > - Rick > > > > > On Aug 15, 2014, at 5:18 PM, Michael Strong > wrote: > > With respect to environmental issues, the most effective way to shift > "business models" is to internalize externalities: Incorporate the costs > of environmental damage into the costs of supplies. If one does that, then > all accounting systems, all profit and loss statements, all projections of > ROI automatically take environmental harms into consideration. This > approach is much more effective than is exhortation (e.g. "Business should > care more for the environment") or the idea of B-Corporations. > > Moreover, there is a LOT more transpartisan support for this kind of > approach than is usually realized. Consider the following approaches to > internalizing externalities: > > 1. Green tax shifts (revenue neutral shifts of taxes towards > environmental harms offset by reductions in corporate or personal tax > rates). > > 2. Property rights solutions (e.g. tradable rights to a particular > portion of a fishery). > > 3. Environmental trusts (e.g. legal trusts set up with a specific > fiduciary responsibility to preserve a specific ecosystem asset, such as an > aquifer, a watershed, or a forest). > > In each case, I know of many free market economists, including experts at > Cato, Reason, etc., who would support some versions of such policies as > well as experts from environmental organizations would would support such > policies. A transpartisan effort could work to get legislation passed on > behalf of such policies. > > It takes sustained work to pass the relevant legislation and most > victories are small and piecemeal. But many of these solutions, once > established, providing long-lasting protections to the environment and > permanently shift business models in all industries - because the > fundamental cost structure for all uses has changed. > > I've written about these approaches in some depth here, > > > > I can provide more detailed references for anyone who is serious about > such initiatives. For a time I was working on various aspects of putting > together transpartisan coalitions but found so little interest and support > that I gave up. > > Michael Strong > Chief Visionary Officer > FLOW > > > > > > > > On Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 7:49 PM, Steven H Johnson > wrote: > >> Tom, you're instincts are right. "Value chain" as used in the business >> world is much narrower in meaning. >> >> One can look at farming as a value chain that begins with a seed company >> at one end and finishes with a family eating food at the other, and then >> disposing of human waste. If they have a composting toilet, perhaps the >> value chain loops all the way back around to the farm again. >> >> One can look at the energy industry as a value chain that begins with >> wells and mines and ends with consumers receiving value while residents of >> the planet must cope with global warming and climate change and extreme >> weather events and humanitarian disaster. >> >> In any end-to-end business model, every step along the way can be >> assessed for both its positive consequences and its negative consequences, >> as one would do in a triple bottom line context, or in a reappraisal of >> today's end-to-end business models. >> >> When a business model causes important harm, then a wise civilization >> searches for a better business model, one that still delivers the desired >> benefits without generating the harm. >> >> All the industries that matter have great complexity. The Energy >> Industry. Agriculture. Health Care. Public Education. And many others. >> Vast business models will have vast consequences, and it is precisely the >> question of vast scale that draws our attention to them. If current >> business models cause harm at vast scale, finding better business models is >> a dialogue challenge of considerable urgency. >> >> Best, >> >> Steve >> >> Steven Howard Johnson - Civic Futurist >> 410-562-0361 >> Book in Progress: *Thoughtful Patriotism* >> >> >> >> On Aug 10, 2014, at 7:03 PM, Tom Atlee wrote: >> >> Hear! Hear! .... I think... >> >> Not being connected much to the corporate/business world, I'm less >> conversant with "business models" and "value chains". So I'll venture an >> intuitive broad definition of these to see if they work for Steven et al. >> >> 1. A business model is a way of organizing an activity - a way of >> "setting things up" - to produce (and continue to produce) something of >> value. In this sense, the U.S. Constitution is a "business model", as are >> a family and a tax code. >> >> 2. A value chain is an articulation of the value changes observable at >> each life-cycle stage of a product or service - or activity of any kind. >> It includes increases and decreases in value, considering both the impacts >> people and systems have on the product (or service or activity) AND the >> product's (or service's or activity's) impact on the people and systems >> connected to it. For example, competent labor adds value to a computer >> during its manufacture, AND a toxic work environment takes value away (or >> generates negative value) during that same activity. Likewise, after its >> purchase, the computer adds value to a consumer's life while negatively >> impacting the value of the person's life who is salvaging its parts in a >> toxic dump after its disposal. And creative volunteers would add value to >> a community celebration's value chain. >> >> If we can accept these definitions - which I suspect radically expand the >> territory covered by those terms in normal business jargon - then >> everything you say about "business models" would apply to our >> social/political/economic systems and everything you say about "value >> chains" would embrace concepts like "triple bottom line" and "full cost >> accounting" and "internalizing the social and environmental costs of a >> product into its price". >> >> Furthermore, these extended definitions naturally extend the concept of >> "value" to embrace meeting deep human needs and the functional needs of >> human and natural communities - as well as concepts like "natural capital", >> "social capital", etc. So we're not just talking dollars here. >> >> And with these concepts we can begin to replace "collateral damage" (and >> its twin concept, "side effects") with more honestly inclusive and >> consciousness-raising terms like "whole-system impacts". (After all, a >> "side" effect is a real effect that we want people to attend to only as an >> afterthought, and thus is more of a PR term than a scientific one.) >> >> Does any of this make sense? If so, then a high mission of dialogue and >> deliberation could be seen as facilitating whole-system business models >> that nurture positive value (satisfy real needs of people and nature) at >> every step of the value chain. >> >> Just thinking... >> >> Coheartedly, >> Tom >> >> ________________________________ >> >> Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440 >> site: / blog: >> Read EMPOWERING PUBLIC WISDOM - >> THE TAO OF DEMOCRACY - and >> REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM - >> Please support our work. Your donations are fully tax-deductible. >> >> ________________________________ >> >> On Aug 10, 2014, at 10:14 AM, Steven H Johnson wrote: >> >> Hi everyone, >> >> >> In principle, I like Mark Gerzon's suggestion that those of us who want >> to explore individual issues in greater depth should seek volunteers to >> participate and work together - offline - to see where their dialogue takes >> them. Perhaps they'll develop some breakthru insights. >> >> >> But somehow I'm not fully sold, and here's my concern. It's a concern >> that applies not only to Mark's suggestion, but also to some of the >> excellent comments of Tom Atlee as well. >> >> >> We live in a time of bureaucratized organizations and industries and >> agencies. We also live in a time of extraordinary scale. Corporate >> behaviors at vast scale have consequences at vast scale - think fossil fuel >> consumption. Government behaviors at vast scale have consequences at vast >> scale - think of the federal government's screwed up business tax code. >> >> >> The future we will create for ourselves depends, therefore, on our >> ability to size up the business models that shape our civilization. >> >> Which ones are generally beneficial? Which ones are harmful? And - for >> those sectors that are shaped by faulty business models - how are we to >> redesign them? How are we to envision new business models that become part >> of our well-being, rather than part of our chronic dissatisfaction? >> >> >> If the art of business model redesign is the key to our better future - >> as I think it is - what sort of dialogue will have the best chance of >> finding good redesign approaches? >> >> >> Will it be "transpartisan"? Will it be one of Tom Atlee's suggested >> models? Or any of several deliberative democracy models? >> >> >> To my way of thinking, all those options miss an important part of the >> problem. "Business model" is shorthand for something more complicated - >> the behaviors of an entire Value Chain, and the consequences generated by >> that value chain under Business As Usual scenarios. >> >> >> If we were to set for ourselves a platinum standard, what would it look >> like? >> >> >> With respect to any particular business model and the value chain it >> affects, we'd want to be able to size up today's reality and recognize both >> its beneficial consequences and its damaging consequences. We'd also want >> to be able to wrestle our way forward to new scenarios for how to shape >> those business models, and the conduct of the value chains they govern. >> >> >> We'd especially want to be able to rethink our most problematic business >> models. >> >> >> To my mind, a platinum standard for dialogue is one that brings together >> participants who collectively have an end-to-end understanding of a major >> value chain. Such a dialogue doesn't limit itself to modest adjustments; >> it's willing to explore paradigm shift scenarios too. Such a dialogue will >> take on the scale question, with a special focus on its dangers: "Is there >> a redesign scenario that protects us from causing collateral damage at >> great scale?" A platinum dialogue presses forward till it's found one or >> more solid reforms to recommend. >> >> >> So . . . when I think about "transpartisan dialogues" or "citizen juries" >> or "deliberative dialogues," I ask myself - are we ready to tune them up a >> bit? So that some of our dialogues, at least, will operate at a platinum >> level? >> >> >> 'Nuff for now. >> >> >> Steve Johnson >> >> >> Steven Howard Johnson - Civic Futurist >> >> 410-562-0361 >> >> Book in Progress: Thoughtful Patriotism >> >> >> >> To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: >> >> >> >> >> >> ############################ >> >> To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list: >> write to: mailto:TRANSPARTISAN-SIGNOFF-REQUEST@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG >> or click the following link: >> >> >> >> >> >> >> ------------------------------ >> >> To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: >> >> > > > > -- > Michael Strong > > > Creating a World in which All of Humanity Flourishes > > Co-Founder and CEO, Khabele+Strong Incubator > Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, The FLOW Project > , now Radical Social Entrepreneurs > > Co-Founder and CEO, StartupLearning.Me > Co-Founder, Startup Cities Institute > Lead Author,* Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious > Capitalists Can Solve All the World's Problems > * > Author, *The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic > Practice > * > Blogger at "The Purpose of Education is Happiness and Well-Being for > All," "Let a Thousand > Nations Bloom," and "Radical Social > Entrepreneurs" > Co-Founder of The Atheneum School , The Winston > Academy > > (defunct), Moreno Valley High School > > (ranked the 36th best public high school in 2006 > ), and The Bronze Doors > Academy . > Co-Founder, Conscious Capitalism, Inc. > > TEDx UChicago, "The Creation of Conscious Culture through Educational > Innovation" > TEDx GrandRapids, "Innovate: Experience" > > TEDx UFM, "Socratic Practice as Disruptive Technology" > > > ------------------------------ > > To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: > > > > ------------------------------ > > To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: > >

-- Evelyn Messinger +1.415.377.6278


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