Live commercial pilots to find a people and planet friendly growth model
Good Growth overview
Our purpose is to build business systems that create value by design
Value doesn't mean just price, it means "back to balance": restoring the stock of natural and social capital which has been depleted through our extractive economic models.
So our systems are designed to be regenerative not extractive, to restore the environment, revive communities, and deliver economic prosperity.
It is a rejection of a market in, extractive approach to business in favour of an ecosystem out, regenerative model.
The orthodox model is broken - market in, fragmented, extractive
So creating value “by design” means going back to first principles and designing from the ecosystem out, not from the market in. This needs disruptive change; not incremental, isolated problem solving within systems set up to maximise profits.
We take a holistic, integrated view of a system of interconnected businesses, communities, and places. We are setting out to design and prove an economic model that creates value for a synergistic interconnected system of businesses, communities, and places. In our conceptualisation of a business system, businesses function collaboratively and within a unifying narrative to create systemic value.
A Good Growth system - ecosystem out, integrated, regenerative
The critical part of building this integrated and connected system is bringing all the parties together into a common shared interest. Brand plays a critical role in unifying all participants (including consumer and financing communities) into a common purpose. And structurally there are some key components in strengthening the bonds:
clearly articulated and shared purpose: replenishing natural and social capital i.e. "back to balance"
shared small scale infrastructure to harness economies of scale and bypass monopolies and reinforce origin
structures to share value fairly - common ownership through the chain
relationships with reciprocal obligations
accessible to multiple small adaptive and complementary brands
We start with a good idea of what a regenerative ecosystem looks like at each of the places that make up a business system and a good idea of the mix of raw materials that we have to work with.
Then we identify and design complementary products from these raw materials and come up with a first design of a business system: structure; financing; and brand.
And we join it all up through a brand and marketing platform that connects consumers to the sources of origin: the restoration of ecosystem where the products originate, and the revival of the making communities working with that ecosystem. The brand is not a product brand rather an articulation of the whole system and everyone in it - it is a purpose brand.
Key design differences in a Good Growth system
We have set out to design and prove this all out through value chains based on agriculture. Starting with a prototype value chain - bringing the first products out in 2020 - sourced from three very special herding communities in Mongolia and Argentina and processed through a newly developing specialised textile hub in Scotland. In parallel we are working with artisan winemakers in Georgia and rice farming communities in Cambodia where we expect to extend the model out.
Big opportunity to create new value chains
"Herds like locusts"
Agriculture suffers acutely from the problems of old school growth.
Rangelands and wildlife habitats are damaged as large scale commercialisation invades fragile eco systems.
"optimised" supply chains drive down the value of animals - meaning the only way for herders to increase incomes is by increasing herd sizes. Hence locusts.
Rural communities decline as traditional identities and skills are replaced by ultra-transactional supply arrangements.
The young don't want to continue. It's impossible to make a living - so they are moving out and communities are dying.
Value of origin
But there is immense value in the system. With the right connections, structures and brands we can breathe life back into agricultural communities and the environments they look after.
Consumers increasingly appreciate and seek out products with authentic sources of origin. There is a growing rejection of the blandly industrialised and a yearning to get close to products, and producers, who are closer to nature.
Some of this is anti-globalisation, more of it is a desire to reconnect. There is value - monetary and intangible - in origin.
Origin that combines a clear social and environmental purpose is of even higher value. Products that intrinsically and tangibly "do good" in the way that they are made and brought to market are - by definition - 'Good Growth' products
Products that are much more than sustainable - these are products that restore back to balance the places where they come from, products that replenish the stock of natural and social capital.
Redesigning value chains
When we talk about creating value we mean replenishing the stock of natural and social capital, not the narrow price view of economics. So we build profitable businesses to regenerate not extract capital from the environment and communities.
We go back to first principles and design from the ecosystem out, not from the market in - designing products and a system to create value; not trying to figure out how to harness the environment and people towards realising a business opportunity.
We create value for a synergistic interconnected system of businesses, communities, and places. This requires a holistic, integrated view of the system as a whole, not of individual, fragmented, businesses, communities, or places.
Even the most well intentioned of "ESG" infused supply chains don't work on the ground. The focus on cost reduction and scale create self interested monopolistic nodes. (Nobody like to admit this but....) The sustainability metrics are largely bullshit and focused on inputs not outcomes. Hence greenwash.