Summary of Owning Our Future

The Emerging Ownership Revolution

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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Owning Our Future book summary
“Extractive” owners take money out of firms and “generative” owners sustain value. Guess where the future is going.


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Organizations have different values and viewpoints. Some are “extractive,” which means they drain the maximum financial value out of their coffers at all costs. Ownership strategy specialist Marjorie Kelly contends that the extractive nature of capitalism led to the 2008 recession because “financialized ownership” pushed the economic system beyond its tolerance. Some organizations, in contrast, are “generative” and base their structure on “sustainability, community and sufficiency.” Kelly’s impassioned arguments in favor of a generative, sustaining economy could strike some readers as pie in the sky, though she offers numerous real-life examples of global businesses pioneering fresh approaches to ownership. While never advocating any particular political point of view, getAbstract recommends her informed treatise to those pondering the economic future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to discern “extractive” and “generative” ownership,
  • How capitalism’s extractive design precipitated the 2008 financial crisis, and
  • Why generative design is the path to a sustainable future.


The Heart of Economic Power is Ownership
The economic meltdown of 2008 was not an accident or an unlucky twist of fate. It resulted from an outdated, flawed economic system that imploded. At the core of the crisis was the issue of ownership, the important but rarely discussed “underlying...
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About the Author

Marjorie Kelly is a fellow at the Boston-based Tellus Institute and the director of ownership strategy at the consultancy Cutting Edge Capital.

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