The Cooperative Economy

A Solution to Societal Grand Challenges

By Dovev Lavie

Societal grand challenges have taken a toll on humanity, which finds itself at a crossroads. The concentration of wealth and economic inequality, the dominance of Big Tech firms, the loss of privacy and free choice, and the overconsumption and abuse of natural resources have been reinforced by globalization. Regulation, legislation, international treaties, and government and corporate policies have fallen short of offering sufficient remedies. This book identifies the root cause of these problems and offers a bold solution: a new economic system, free from the design flaws that have contributed to these societal grand challenges.

The proposed cooperative economy is an ethical community-driven exchange system that relies on collective action to promote societal values while accounting for resource constrains. Unlike the modern economic system that is predominantly driven by opportunistic behavior, the cooperative economy moves away from a materialistic orientation and follows a more balanced perspective that leverages prosocial behavior. The book explains how this new system adopts design principles that promote self-sufficiency of communities, sustainability and entrepreneurship while limiting overconsumption and excessive profit making. It enhances economic equality by leveraging price subsidization and by restricting salary differences. The book describes how the system serves the interests of consumers, vendors, and employees while preventing the accumulation of power by the platform owner who operates this system.

The book is invaluable reading for policymakers who have been searching for solutions to some of the grand challenges that our society faces, and to managers who have sought alternative ways to cope with platform ecosystems, resource shortages, and supply chain disruptions. It revisits long-held assumptions, offering a treatise and food for thought, as well as a plan for concrete action. The book is also highly relevant to scholars and students in the study of economics, strategy, innovation, and public policy and to all readers who are concerned about the future of our planet and society.