We need to take time to examine how the rules of capitalism and free markets — formal and informal – have evolved over the last 40 years. One approach is not to end or replace the game, but to reset the rules to make them fairer to all stakeholders – employees, customers, citizens, communities, the Earth – and stockholders.
Effective change is needed in (1) government policies, (2) the way corporations govern themselves, and (3) in our communities and relationships. The Rules Change Project recognizes mainstream ideas for changes in the way large, public corporations are regulated, managed and compete in at least six key categories: influence, measurement, ownership, accountability, governance, and sustainability.
We spotlight efforts to teach corporations and managers — by example, by regulation or by consumer power — to serve society and the planet rather than focusing solely on short-term profits to shareholders. We look for examples of greater tax and wage fairness as well as equity in how the regulations are applied. We believe that natural resources should be valued because they belong to all of us, shareholders and stakeholders alike. We advocate access to information that empowers all citizens and exposes activity, behavior and incentives that are not only illegal but ethically wrong. We are watching for electoral reforms that restore faith in our democratic process.
In order to achieve these goals, the “rules change giraffes” we’re looking for will exhibit behavior framed by one or more of these issues:
- Lessening the power of money
- Holding businesses responsible
- Getting people involved
- Leveling the playing field
- Securing a sustainable world
Intentionally or otherwise, some actions of the people who run and invest in global corporations tend to divide and marginalizing those who challenge those actions. The Rules Change vision identifies and promotes our common ground. It seeks to expand the pool or resources and tools that support collaboration and citizen impact.