There is a world of innovation and entrepreneurism where the bottom line is the last thing that matters. René Kemp tells.

We live in a world of marketisation with its foundations in the commoditisation of land, labour and money (Polanyi, 2001[1944]). Built on top of that are new public management, performance-based pay; contracting out; and the spread of market thinking in personal domains of life. According to Michael Sandel, marketisation is, “the process where market values reach into every sphere of life, everything from family life in personal relations, to health, education, civic life, and civic duties”. [1]

Marketisation is praised for achieving greater efficiency but comes with costs to wellbeing. Competition in the market place drives organisations to short product cycles through planned obsolescence with little regard of the wellbeing of workers and nature. It is found to turn people into individuals, as workers and consumers, competing with each other (Sennett, 1998, 2006; Verhaeghe, 2015). When success is viewed as an individual achievement, lack of success in finding a job and keeping it and the conspicuous consumption that goes with it, becomes a personal failure. In a blog titled Good for nothing, Mark Fischer notes that: “A particularly vicious double bind is imposed on the long-term unemployed in the UK now: a population that has all

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René Kemp

René is professor of innovation and sustainable development at ICIS and professorial fellow of UNU-MERIT. He is interested in the link between micro change and macro change. He is well-known …

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