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Beloved economies: Imagining a world of work to include love and listening (#117)

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Jean Latting
November 10, 2023
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Joanna Cea and Jess Rimington wrote Beloved Economies: Transforming How We Work, that invites us to reimagine work and reimagine capitalism.

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Timestamp of today's podcast

[0:11] Jean introduces Joanna Cea and Jess Rimington, co-authors of “Beloved Economies: Transforming How We Work.”

[3:16] What is a beloved economy? It describes a different way of conducting business that prioritizes power sharing and inclusion.

[6:35] The loveless economy is a departure from business as usual and a turning away from love, according to research and bell hooks's writings.

[11:31] 60 enterprises were studied that are far more inclusive – bringing people together as peers, co-owners, and co-leaders – and more successful.

[13:50] Jess grew up with background in family business that modeled values of resiliency and survival.

[17:06] Joanna describes her personal background and interest in global justice.

[19:17] They were baffled by businesses that didn’t include designs and ideas from the people they were trying to help. Why weren’t the recipients even included at the table?

[25:12] They found commonalities among groups that had departed from business as usual. These commonalities were distilled into their seven practices for inclusive decision making.

[28:51] Their seven practices for inclusive decision making are: share decision-making power, prioritize relationships, reckon with history, seek difference, source from multiple ways of knowing, trust there is time, and prototype early and often.

[32:10] Carrying out this process requires courage: to take time needed; allocate budget; recognize one’s own limitations; and push back on norms.

[34:37] 10 Squared is an example of innovating occupational health and safety. It assembles a team of managers and workers to solve workplace safety issues.

[36:24] Jess: This is so in alignment with how the rest of life works.

[42:01] Joanna: This is all about balance. It's about enriching the field of information and bringing more things in. It's about expanding the kinds of knowledge and insight coming in.

[45:02] Jess: What we're really trying to advocate here is economic imagination.

[48:55] Summary: A beloved economy distributes power to design our future and our business and our life.

Questions to ask yourself

  1. Can you visualize a business that follows the practices of beloved economies? What does it look like?
  2. What has to be given up to expand outside the capitalism box?

Conscious Change skills
covered in this podcast

  • Build effective relationships
    • Engage in powerful listening
    • Develop skills in inquiry and openness
  • Conscious use of self
    • Maintain integrity
    • Focus on others’ strengths
    • Adopt a growth mindset
  • Initiate change
    • Commit to personal change
    • Set direction, not fixed outcomes

#BelovedEconomies #LovelessEconomy #PowerfulListening

Jess Rimington headshot:

Jess Rimington

Co-founder, Futuring Collective

Co-author of Beloved Economies: Transforming How We Work

Jess is a next-economy practitioner, scholar and activist. With two decades of experience as a small-business practitioner and inclusive-economy strategist, she advises organizations and businesses in efforts to transform their work practices to be in alignment with social justice. Jess’s work focuses on awakening the economic imagination of individuals and groups to step out of business as usual and into more just and resilient economies, one practical step at a time.

Her practice is informed by her experience leading three nonprofit organizations, place-based activism for economic justice, advising philanthropy and directing capital toward enterprises and groups building an inclusive economy, and running a small consultancy business. In her roles as an Executive Director and Managing Director, Jess built cross-cultural, global staff teams with innovative work cultures rooted in post-capitalism.

She served as a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Global Projects Center and co-director of the Beloved Economies research initiative, learning alongside more than sixty organizations and companies that were boldly breaking out of business as usual and generating forms of success that audaciously prioritized well-being, meaning, connection, and resilience. Based on this research, Jess co-authored Beloved Economies: Transforming How We Work (Aug 2022) which was shortlisted for the 2022 Porchlight Business Book Awards.

Jess is co-founder of the Futuring Collective which supports business leaders and culture-makers to build wildly imaginative futures rooted in well-being for all. Jess is also an Executive Producer of the scripted, speculative fiction podcast The Light Ahead.

Jess is driven by her belief that our collective liberation is inextricably bound with one another.

Joanna Levitt Cea headshot

Joanna Levitt Cea

Co-author of Beloved Economies: Transforming how we work

Co-director, 2019-2023 Beloved Economies research and narrative-change initiative

Joanna is an advocate, researcher and facilitator for funding and economic practices that lift up the well-being of all.

She is the co-author of the collaborative book, Beloved Economies: Transforming how we work, which was shortlisted for the Porchlight 2022 Business Book of the Year award, and co-director of the 2019-2023 Beloved Economies research and narrative-change initiative.

In 2015-2019, as the founding director of the Buen Vivir Fund at Thousand Currents, Joanna facilitated a co-design process with grassroots organizations from Latin America, Asia and Africa and progressive investors to create a groundbreaking model for investment based in grassroots practices for building community wealth, well-being, and power.

From 2006-2014, Joanna served as Executive Director of International Accountability Project. Under her IAP leadership, IAP won precedent-setting policies for ensuring citizen participation and human rights safeguards at global financial institutions including the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and Asian Development Bank.

Prior to joining IAP, Joanna worked as a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador with the Centro de Derechos Económicos y Sociales, and as a John Gardner Fellow with the Center for International Environmental Law, in Washington D.C. She is a Board member of International Accountability Project and a member of the Kaulele Advisory Committee with INPEACE, the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture.

Joanna holds a BA from Stanford University.


The views and opinions expressed in this or other blog posts at www.leadingconsciously.com are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Leading Consciously. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

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