Corporate capitalism is increasingly blamed for the social, economic, and environmental decline apparent in today’s world. Millions of us hope for a more equitable society with a new shared economy in which all people have access to food, clothing, affordable housing, living-wage jobs, medical care, education, and opportunities to improve their lives together on a planet in which: · The condition of the environment is improving · Local economies are vibrant, democracy is growing stronger, a greater sense of community is developing in cities and towns, small businesses are flourishing, family farmers are profitable, poverty is in sharp decline, and children do not go to bed hungry · The economically powerful special interests that receive favorable treatment from governments are communities, rather than lobbyists for wealthy private interests · The purpose of the shared economic system is not to produce maximum profits and growth for the few, but adequate profits and sustainable growth for the good of all–to create a brighter future You may think this a utopian dream, but it is not. Community Capitalism details how we can create this shared economy anytime we want – without the need for any new legislation, any government action, or the approval of the wealthiest, most powerful elite. Most surprising is that, when used in a different way by the community itself, it is the much maligned tool of capitalism that can bring us the shared economy and society we are hoping for! In fact, it is ours for the taking! If you are open to the idea that a new beginning is possible, this just might be what you’ve been looking for.
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In 1964, Michael Garjian left the farm for the university with a dream to become an inventor. From 1969 to 1999, he was granted nine worldwide patents and employed more than 400 people in his companies manufacturing and distributing his inventions globally. In 1999, he concluded his manufacturing career at Neon Technology Corporation to become a social entrepreneur. He took the position of Director of Small Business Development at the nonprofit Valley Community Development Corporation in Western Mass. to help low-income entrepreneurs launch more than 60 small businesses. In 2003, he was awarded the Common Capital (formerly Western Mass. Enterprise Fund) award as “Friend of the Year” for his work. Garjian worked with the Alliance to Develop Power, a group of 10,000 very low-income individuals occupying tenant-owned apartment complexes throughout Western Mass. He helped them form a worker-owned cooperative to provide landscape and painting services to their properties. He worked with tenant organizations to help them better understand how to use their $40,000,000 in financial power to achieve their social goals. In 2002 he was awarded the Alliance’s Champion of the Year award for his work. Garjian is a principal in several companies involved in sustainable energy and agriculture, with a focus on advanced biofuels, wind power, and indoor agriculture. He currently volunteers at Ascentria Care Alliance (formerly Lutheran Social Services) helping some of these New Americans to establish small businesses in order to become self-sufficient. As a proponent of wind power, Garjian was one of three winners of the Scientific American Magazine’s “Ten World Changing Videos” contest in 2010. He has been a member of the board of directors of several nonprofit organizations as well as for-profit private or publicly traded corporations. He led the establishment of a pilot E2M regional shared economy in Western Massachusetts and has received the support of local and federal elected officials, economists, educators, students, clergy, labor leaders, entrepreneurs, and community members. As the author of Community Capitalism, he offers the reader a detailed road map on how to use the E2M Economic Model to open the doors to the shared economy, in which a network of benevolent, decentralized, sustainable, regional, economic communities can become the dominant financial power that determines the destiny of our society and planet.
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