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The Global Balance Sheet

In the current economic world order, every company needs to have a healthy financial return or at least to break even. If not, they run out of money and go bankrupt.

Our corporate co-existence is built upon a system where everyone is responsible for their own earnings. It is an excellent way to hold every company accountable for their existence. Power and influence are distributed among millions of companies and encourage the staff to engage in common operations. It’s a serviceable system for lifting people out of poverty. But what about paying nature back? How do we compensate for the external costs we impose?

If you didn’t sequester carbon as a part of the operation, you’d default on your carbon balance sheet and be carbon-bankrupt.
If you didn’t enhance the lives of suppliers, staff, and customers, you’d run out of social credits and fold.
If you extract more virgin resources without recycling, your warehouses of materials will be empty.

How would that business model look?

How would this impact people, the planet, and human happiness?
If we take marketing propaganda out of the equation, what parts of our lives would we treasure?
Which companies would thrive with more recycling, more motivated employees, and happier customers?
What business models would create gigatons of meaning, compassion, and purpose?

People in general and the business community in particular have allowed themselves to be constrained by money, allowing only central banks (as our representatives) to make more of it.

What if we put the same restrictions on other limited resources? Can we realize that consumption beyond a certain point contributes, not to happiness, but its opposite? Can we share experiences with friends instead of physical gifts? Can a modest material footprint enhance our attention to socializing, friendships, and mental health?

Capitalism has served us well, but making progress is about taking good experiences and make them better. It’s time to add new responsibilities to our balance sheets, privately, corporately, nationally, and globally.


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