This is a talk I gave as part of the Merry Musings series with Ubiquity University. It is based on the Why Work book. If you would like to join the module with the background materials and online discussion group, you can sign up here For the whole Merry Musings series, see here.
I have now updated and reworked the original Why Work? paper and published it as a book. Check out the book website here.
Peter Merry’s book addresses a central question faced by every human: Why should we work? His overview is lively, direct, readable, and very timely. With technological advances threatening to continue to eat away at employable jobs, new solutions are ever-more urgently required for human daily survival. Peter’s work looks at this issue head-on, with both analyses and possible solutions. Well done!”
Ken Wilber—Philosopher and author of over 20 books, including The Integral Vision. Originator of Integral Theory.
Prof Wayne Visser
Why Work? is a brave treatise that refuses to shy away from Western capitalism’s most vexing dilemmas, such as how to create meaningful work and halt the social cancer of growing inequality. Merry effortlessly weaves together philosophical, economic, political and even spiritual perspectives into a highly readable book that is as grounded in pragmatic solutions as it is uplifted by inspiring aspirations. Many of the policy ideas are rooted in the decades old “new economics” and “green politics” movements, which are only recently being taken up and stress tested by various governments around the world, especially in Europe. This makes the book highly contemporary and recommended reading for changemakers in government, business, civil society and academia. A fertile and far-reaching book of possible futures.
Prof Wayne Visser, director of Kaleidoscope Futures, author of Sustainable Frontiers and Senior Associate at Cambridge University
Dr. Barrett Brown
“Once again, Peter Merry is years ahead with his thinking about global flourishing and what it takes for us to bring about a future that works for all. In this work he deftly weaves a tapestry of hope for our future from the threads of ecological economics, consciousness development, and social change theory. This mash-up of paradigms and trans-disciplinary thinking, combined with examples of practical, liberating structures for the individual and collective, is precisely the grounded wisdom that will stimulate real change. With this text, he will continue to positively influence those with authority, power and influence for many years to come.”
Barrett C. Brown, PhD, organizational consultant and author of The Future of Leadership for Conscious Capitalism
Dr. Bernard Lietaer
“Radical, Necessary, Different, and most importantly Timely!!”
Bernard Lietaer PhD, author or co-author of 17 books and numerous articles written in five languages and co-designer and implementer of the European Currency Union.
Dr. Jim Garrison
This is a brilliant exploration on the deep significance of work in the life of the individual and community. Work is what most of us spend most of our waking time engaged in and thus the challenge of how to make work meaningful and ecologically sustainable is perhaps the single most important priority for society, especially at a time such as ours in which alienation, exploitation, and social unrest are endemic worldwide. If we could crack the code for work that empowers individuals and communities, we could create a paradise on earth. Peter’s book points the way.
Jim Garrison PhD was educated at Cambridge and Harvard universities, is the founder and president of Ubiquity University and has served as President of the Gorbachev Foundation and State of the World Forum.
When Peter wrote this he was ahead of his time, as ever. This book is not only still relevant but very current.
Herman Wijffels is the “best Prime Minster the Netherlands never had” – former CEO of the Rabobank, head of the Dutch Social Economic Council and Dutch representative at the World Bank.
Drilling down to essential truths, Peter calls for us to look again at the role of work in these times – and to question how work serves the betterment of both the human condition and wider societal health. Drawing on thought-leaders from over the years and offering grounded applications of ‘new economics’ for contemporary society, this book offers an erudite summary for practitioners, policy-makers and entrepreneurs seeking socio-economic system change. Essential reading for a future that works!
Tatiana Glad, M.Sc. is founder and director of Impact Hub Amsterdam, and co-founder of Waterlution. She sits on the global Impact Hub Association Board, International Supervisory Group of AIESEC International and Boards of Elos Institute and MovingWorlds.