I recently read an amazing science-fiction book called Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. It imagines humanity’s next thirty years as we contend with the reality of climate change. It's a terrifying while also optimistic book.
The “Ministry for the Future” in the book’s title refers to an imagined UN agency tasked with protecting Earth’s future inhabitants. At one point in the book, Mary, the head of this agency, gives an impassioned speech to a group of bankers:
“Help us get to the next world system. New metrics, new kinds of value creation. Make the next political economy. Invent post-capitalism! The world needs it, it really has to happen!”
Which Mary and others go about trying to do.
When I read this passage I practically leapt out of my chair. These ideas are identical to what's proposed in This Could Be Our Future and at the heart of the Bento Society’s mission:
“The mission of the Bento Society is to redefine what the world sees as valuable and in its self-interest. The same tools and measurements we’ve used to grow and measure financial value can be applied to non-financial values, creating a world where value isn’t solely defined, distributed, and optimized as financial capital. We will learn that other values — something’s ecological value, its social value, its relational value — are just as critical depending on the situation.”
While Ministry for the Future imagines these conversations happening in the distant future, the Bento Society will be having them now.