Regional Economic Communities

A business and community paradigm which is viable in the long-term – a concept worth living

Long-term Viability

A society which is viable for the future ensures that its members can reliably and permanently satisfy their needs and at the same time develop and grow as people. A company which is viable for the future sees itself as part of such a society and ensures that it can permanently supply an amount of products which remains as stable as possible.

Long-term Viability includes sustainability, but goes beyond it. A non-sustainable economic activity uses up resources without caring about how they are created. Such behaviour can therefore not be viable in the long-term.

Besides the social, ecological and economic sustainability, the concept of long-term viability includes resilience against possible crises. A company is resilient in this respect if it can endure setbacks in any area without being forced out of business.

An example: A grocery store can be sustainable in all three areas by generating its own energy via solar panels or wind turbines, offering only organically produced products, paying its employees a fair wage, etc. If it is however dependent on deliveries of goods which are transported over long distances via lorry, then it is not viable for the future. If the deliveries fail to appear for whatever reason, then it will be sold out within days. It then has no future.

The criteria for viability for the future change continuously as the awareness of this topic grows. This learning process is a part of the viability for the future. It develops and unfolds in the exchange between providers of financing, employees of the community of participation and ownership and the companies who have joined it, external experts and the general public.

Important prerequisites for this learning process are transparency and simplicity. The learning process can only be effective if the successes, failures, prerequisites, aims, assumptions and risks are communicated openly and as simply as possible.

Transparency also creates trust and furthers cooperation. If for example salaries, wages and business profits are laid open, then an unfair remuneration is not possible. When objectives and needs of companies, employees, suppliers and consumers are openly debated, a genuine cooperation between all parties involved can develop.

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