I received an amazing message by email from a friend and fellow social entrepreneur. He has created the world’s first bamboo flying disc and would like to incorporate the E-CORP concept into his business model. How cool is that! We decided to move the conversation online, it is pasted below, so that you all could join in the discussion regarding how to implement these ideas. Russell is struggling a bit with the ownership concept and adds some great ideas regarding Open Source, Right Purpose and Inclusion. I will respond below in the comments and encourage each of you to do the same.
As a quick recap the following defines an E-CORP…
- The enterprise is owned in trust by the Earth.
- Green bonds are used for startup funds and working capital
- Profits are shared with employees up to 20%
- Net Positive Resource Use
- Zero to Landfill
- Minimum Wage Plus
- Defined Maximum Wage
- Open Books
Peace & Love,
I’ve been working more on the Frisboo business plan. I have been trying to implement your e-Corp ideas. Most of it fits in just great. However, I am still struggling with the concept of the “Earth owning the business in trust”. I can’t work out what that means practically and thus have had to cut that concept out of my current revision.
I think there’s also two other principles that are worth adding: Open Source and Right Purpose. The first we’ve talked about– making the designs available via a wiki. The second is inspired from the Bhuddist concept of “Right Livelihood”. For instance, going from the principles you provided first, one could technically operate a bomb or gun making business under them. But I don’t think that’s quite right… so the added Principle is needed.
Also, I think you could take out, or merge one of these two:
- Open Books
Especially if Open Source is another principle. They all kinda overlap. I am still struggling on what Open Books means exactly though. I will get back to you later on this as I think it through.
For the principles of minimum wage plus and defined maximum wage… I think this is important, but that’s it actually part of a larger principle for inclusion, equality and empowerment in the business. For example… I am haunted by a passage I read in a book about a lady who went out to research plastic production. She got to go to a Frisbee factory in China. She got to see these hundreds of people working monotonously making tens of thousands of Frisbees. At the end of her visit and reporting, the factory manager came up and asked her… “what do the people in your country do with these plastic things anyway?”.
So, here’s what I have come up with so far for Frisboo:
Frisboo .org is an E-corp enterprise. This means that the raison d’etre of the business is for the betterment of the Earth’s people, species and ecosystems. The Frisboo.org E-Corp will operate according to the following principals.:
The very product of the business is Good– it promotes the healthiness of people and planet. The Frisboo is for fun, collaborative play!
Our work is available to the world, to be used by anyone and improved by anyone. Our Frisboo design will be made available for anyone anywhere to access and improve and add to using an online wiki.
100% Cradle to Cradle
Our product, processes and the running of our business produce no dead-end waste. Everything that would be traditionally considered “waste” is turned into an input for something else. Our chosen material is Bamboo which is means our product and manufacturing excess are all bio-degreadable. Our excess non-biological waste will be ecobricked by staff and employees.
It’s a big team: Minimum Wage Plus & Defined Maximum Wage
A wage bracket is established to maintain a defined ratio from the highest to the lowest paid person in the organization. Frisboo will have defined Minimum Wage Plus as 50% above the local minimum wage and the Defined Maximum wage is ten times the lowest wage. This keeps the wage gap relatively small and creates an incentive to raise the rate of the lowest paid person.
Transparency & Open Books
An E-CORP publicly publishes its financials. All or our books and working documents will be accessible online. Some will ask why aren’t we worried about our competition taking our ideas. We don’t view anyone as a competitor and welcome all who seek to lower the ecological and economic cost of mobility and transportation. We are committed to accelerating the transition to a clean economy.
See my reply in the comments below…