This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World
Publisher: Viking/Penguin Books
Release Date: Oct 29, 2019
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. We see them as truth. They're not. They're a point of view that previous generations accepted. 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. This belief in financial maximization has produced dire consequences: environmental collapse, corruption, inequality, and a growing dissatisfaction around the world.
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.
Advance praise for This Could Be Our Future
“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 OPTION B
"We live in a cynical age — an age in which, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, we know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Thank goodness, then, for Yancey Strickler. 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, author of WHEN, DRIVE, and A WHOLE NEW MIND
“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 author of START WITH WHY and LEADERS EAT LAST
“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
“Want to actually change the world for the better? Start here.”
— Sophia Amoruso, New York Times bestselling author and founder of GIRLBOSS
“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
“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
“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
"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