This paper argues that memes form the basis of our cultural narratives, and that today’s dominant memes need to dramatically shift to contend with the realities of growing inequality and climate change, which could pose existential threats to humanity. The paper offers a potential set of memes that could be used to develop a business and economic narrative that allows for inclusiveness, wellbeing and dignity for all, while still emphasizing a prosperous business community but not allowing it to dominant societal thinking. New memes proposed focus at the societal level arguing that societies (and businesses) are deeply intertwined with nature, that goals should emphasize wellbeing and dignity for all, defining ‘wealth’ as collective value and dignity as reverence for humans, living beings, and Nature itself. Relevant capitals are multiple, including economic/financial, human/intellectual, social/relational, natural/ecological, and spiritual/reverence. Core values include freedom and democracy within constraints of dignity and an ecologically sustainability social contract, creating ‘fair’ markets, ‘glocal-ism,’ both private and public goods, and collaboration combined with competition. Governments play important roles in setting fair laws and regulations and business’ purpose becomes maximizing aggregate wellbeing within ecological constraints without dignity violations.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.