Chelsea Green Publishing

Online Catalogs & Media Site

How on Earth

Flourishing in a Not-for-Profit World by 2050

Something incredible is happening within our economy. Beyond the failures of state socialism and the excesses of corporate capitalism, a realistic alternative is emerging. In How on Earth, Donnie Maclurcan and Jennifer Hinton chart the rise of businesses that place purpose ahead of profit, and outline how the advantages these businesses hold in the marketplace pave the way to an entirely different economic system, focused on addressing human need, not greed.

At the heart of this monumental transition lies the changing nature of not-for-profit (NFP) organizations. Contrary to popular notions of non-profit inefficiency, unaccountability, and dependence on donors, the 21st century NFP is proving highly efficient, transparent, and increasingly self-funded.

Distinguishing themselves from B corps and ethical/green shareholder companies by always reinvesting rather than privatizing profits, NFP enterprises around the world are proliferating and succeeding in areas as diverse as construction, manufacturing, software development, food catering, and retail. In a process described by Jeremy Rifkin as ‘the eclipse of capitalism’, many NFP enterprises (including various forms of cooperatives, community interest companies, government-owned corporations, and social businesses) are now outperforming their for-profit counterparts, driven by marked advantages in terms of finance, human resources, productivity, innovation, governance, environmental outcomes, value creation and market reputation. Simultaneously, NFP enterprises are increasingly curbing the excesses that have traditionally been associated with the charitable sector.

Moving beyond the market/state dichotomy, the NFP model finally aligns our economy with the social values that modern science and ancient wisdom agree are central to our shared prosperity. With wealth recirculating through a purpose-driven system, the emerging NFP world economy is better able to serve people and planet, while retaining market dynamics and requiring less taxation and government bureaucracy in the process.

A groundbreaking contribution to economic theory, How on Earth presents the world’s first practical blueprint for the transition to a fairer, thriving economy that offers quality of life for all while respecting our ecological limits.


“The concepts developed here go so much deeper and broader than the already profound financial and ecological ramifications. This book strikes at our heart space, reminding us that the human connectivity between us all is what matters most, and that our shared quest for prosperity is dramatically easier when we focus on developing strong businesses that exist to generate communal wealth”--Prof Vijoleta Braach-Maksvytis PhD FAICD, former Head, Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia

How on Earth explains how a thriving economy doesn't have to be based on providing returns to private shareholders and investors. Not-for-profit enterprises are among the most successful and sustainable businesses around. This book is a must-read!”--Linda Wilcox Young, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Economics, Southern Oregon University

"Combining passion and hard evidence, How on Earth is a fascinating, highly original book. It points to how not-for-profit organizations can play a major role in building a more caring and sustainable economy. It further documents a strong trend in this direction through not-for-profit models that generate revenue that is then invested in caring for people and nature."--Riane Eisler, author of The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics

"One of the most exciting searches for a sustainable alternative. Nothing else could strike at the very heart of the profit motivea—and all the damage it causes—like this does."--Richard Wilkinson, Author of The Spirit Level and Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology at University of Nottingham Medical School

"This is precisely the bold economic thinking that we need!"--Randy Hayes, Rainforest Action Network founder & Director, Foundation Earth

“A cogent, compelling blueprint for building an economy where everyone can thrive without wrecking the planet along the way."--Carl Honoré, Author of In Praise of Slowness

"What would business look like aligned with a just and sustainable planet? This book offers a vision, and more than that, a practical path that people can implement right now."--Charles Eisenstein, Author of Sacred Economics, and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible


Jennifer Hinton

A social systems designer, Jennifer Hinton is co-director at the Post Growth Institute and teaches sustainability and English in Athens, Greece. Her work has included projects on China’s circular economy, ethanol production in Brazil and Sweden, renewable-energy job creation in Uzbekistan, and lowering the ecological footprint of Greek public schools.

Donnie Maclurcan

An experienced social entrepreneur, Donnie Maclurcan is executive director at the Post Growth Institute and affiliate professor of social science at Southern Oregon University. He is author of Nanotechnology and Global Equality and co-editor of Nanotechnology and Global Sustainability and is currently writing The Not-for-Profit Handbook.


Donnie Maclurcan on


The Not-for-Profit World Our Hearts Know is Possible

The Not-for-Profit World Our Hearts Know is Possible

How on Earth

Pages:250 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Post Growth Publishing
Paperback: 9780990369004
Pub. Date April 27, 2016

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 250 pages, $19.95