Motivation for writing the book
During the Covid-19 outbreak, I barely left my tiny home office. The solitude led me to ponder existential questions. The suffering of deprived populations and the individuals who lost their jobs amid the pandemic made me think about the challenges that our society faces and will continue to struggle with beyond the pandemic. The pandemic seemed to have worsened the ramifications of economic inequality. With the transition to the virtual workspace and online shopping, the Big Tech firms have grown to dominate many spheres of life. My exploration has evolved into spiritual development when seeking answers to ancient questions. Then, around April 2021, the answer came in the form of an economic model that is quite distinct from our current economic system, but well aligned with the principles that have been advocated by spiritual guides throughout the history of humankind. To my disappointment, I concluded that I have spent the past couple of decades making great strides in the wrong direction. This insight prompted me to reverse my research agenda and focus on the fair distribution of value rather than on strategies for its accumulation.
In September 2021, I started my sabbatical at Imperial College London. I decided to write a short piece about the cooperative economy, with the hope that by casting a broad net I would attract technical experts who can help implement the idea. Two hundred pages later, it became clear to me that this was likely to end up as a book. The work on the book was intensive. Much like the content, the format was not ordinary. The problem and solution were anchored in research, but my purpose was not to offer a theory but to craft a proactive plan for its implementation. As I elaborated my ideas, I realized that this book not only challenges the consensus in the field of strategic management but also revisits long-held assumptions in the economics discipline. Unlike most of the research on societal grand challenges that call for traditional remedies such as regulation and legislation that could fix the flaws in our economy, my conclusion was that our economy is unfixable. I admit that offering an alternative economic system can be perceived as radical, but as an engineer, I found it a simpler solution than tampering with the current system that was designed to support the concentration of wealth rather than its distribution. My hope is that the cooperative economy would transition from theory to practice, and that you, my reader, will find interest and a way to take part in this journey.