This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World (Paperback)
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A vision for building a society that looks beyond money and toward maximizing the values that make life worth living, from the cofounder of Kickstarter.
Western society is trapped by three assumptions: 1) That the point of life is to maximize your self-interest and wealth, 2) That we're individuals trapped in an adversarial world, and 3) That this is natural and inevitable. These ideas separate us, keep us powerless, and limit our imagination for the future. It's time we replace them with something new.
This Could Be Our Future is about how we got here, and how we change course. While the pursuit of wealth has produced innovation and prosperity, it also established an implicit belief that the right choice in every decision is whichever option makes the most money. The answer isn't to get rid of money; it's to expand our concept of value. By assigning rational value to other values besides money--things like community, purpose, and sustainability--we can refocus our energies to build a society that's generous, fair, and ready for the future. By recalibrating our definition of value, a world of scarcity can become a world of abundance.
Hopeful but firmly grounded, full of concrete solutions and bursting with creativity, This Could Be Our Future brilliantly dissects the world we live in and shows us a road map to the world we are capable of making.
About the Author
Yancey Strickler is the cofounder and former CEO of Kickstarter. He has appeared on NBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR Marketplace, Planet Money, KCRW, PBS, and the BBC. He's been profiled in Wired, Financial Times, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Forbes, and Vox and has given keynotes at SXSW, the Sundance Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, Atlantic Ideas Festival, Techcrunch Disrupt, Web Summit, the Walker Art Center, 92nd Street Y, and more. He was one of Fortune's 40 Under 40, on Vanity Fair's New Establishment list, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. The London Spectator called him "one of the least obnoxious tech evangelists ever."
“Yancey Strickler, co-founder of the online crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, urges us to change the way we view work and society…[a] mix of internal corporate reform and consciousness-raising.”
— Wall Street Journal
"In this wise, and sometimes bracing, manifesto, he reveals how hidden assumptions about what matters have coarsened our culture and corroded our values. Then shows how to create organizations and institutions built less on maximizing financial gain and more on family, faith, and sustainability. This book is the conversation starter our world needs.”
— Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of WHEN, DRIVE, and A WHOLE NEW MIND
“Yancey Strickler is convinced that our value system is broken. In this lucid book, he lays out a vision for how to fix it that’s both audacious and elevating. It’s a thought-provoking read for anyone who knows there’s more to life than accumulating wealth.”
— Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of GIVE AND TAKE, ORIGINALS, and coauthor of OPTION B
“Starting in the 1970s, new ideas were proposed about how business should run--ideas that prioritized short-term over long term, profit before people, selfish decisions over selfless ones. Those ideas blossomed in the 1980s and 90s and today they consume too many of the standard business practices. Yancey Strickler is one of the voices that is helping to reverse those ideas in favor of a people before profit model that benefits ALL stakeholders. Preach on Yancey!!”
— Simon Sinek, Optimist and New York Times bestselling author of START WITH WHY and LEADERS EAT LAST
"A seminal work, it puts a long overdue stake through the heart of profit maximization and all the harm this toxic idea has caused. Beautifully written, thoughtfully researched, a must read for anyone who cares about where we're headed."
—Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author of THIS IS MARKETING
“This book is a gift to humanity, filled with blueprints and ideas about how effortlessly we can change the way we think to create a better and kinder world. It’s packed with insight and shows us that real change is not as impossible as we might believe. If you’ve got future-fatigue, this book might be the perfect bedtime story to help you sleep at night.”
—Amanda Palmer, Musician and New York Times bestselling author of THE ART OF ASKING: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Let People Help
“Want to actually change the world for the better? Start here.”
— Sophia Amoruso, New York Times bestselling author of GIRLBOSS
“This bold, moving book explains why forging a more humane, equitable society depends on a fundamental shift not just in values, but the very way we define what value is. This is urgent, actionable reading for anyone who cares about the long-term, complete with a simple framework for how to start seeing the bigger picture and making real change.”
—Eric Ries, Author of the international bestsellers THE LEAN STARTUP and THE STARTUP WAY and Founder of The Long Term Stock Exchange
“Throughout history, societies have fallen for the fallacy that the world around them is how things are destined to be forever--only in hindsight do we see how wrong and shortsighted they were. This Could Be Our Future is a brilliant exercise in reasoning from first principles, challenging our assumptions about how the world must be.”
— Tim Urban, writer of Wait But Why
"This is a beautiful, simple, important book. If we all follow its advice, the world will be a far better place for our children and grandchildren."
— Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media and author of WTF? WHAT’S THE FUTURE AND WHY IT’S UP TO US
“Reading This Could Be Our Future should be a requirement for all who endeavor to build and lead humane organizations."
— Jerry Colonna, author of REBOOT: LEADERSHIP AND THE ART OF GROWING UP
“Yancey's career has been predicated on debunking unbridled self-interest––especially of the financial kind. In this book, he promotes a new design for society based on a more generous sharing of riches, ideas, and destinies.”
— Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art
“The co-founder and former CEO of Kickstarter offers some intriguing ideas on how to create a better world...A valid evaluation of the modern world and why it needs to shift from financial maximization to something more humane.”