Chris Oestereich – Pandemic Capitalism: From Broken Systems to Basic Income

Chris Oestereich published an earlier version of this book under the title Mending the Net. Given the COVID-19 crisis and the urgency to support the healthcare system and keep the economy afloat, he pulled the book, did further research, which resulted in Pandemic Capitalism: From Broken Systems to Basic Income. Humanity is beset by wicked problems, the interconnected challenges that defy solution. This book attempts to lay out arguments for a universal basic income (UBI) by reframing the economy in a way that aims humanity hope for a brighter future.

Capitalism turns out to be a win-lose game with a happy few of very rich people and way too many people stricken in poverty. Humanity benefits from the bounty that’s afforded to us by nature, our social inheritance – everything humanity has learned, created, and otherwise accomplished in the past, and everything productive that we do in the present. Oestereich’s world cares for the planet, shares the gains more equally, not only among the working part of the population, We should think about what we could change to the economy and what the systemic effects might be. Although the author’s clear about his endorsement of a UBI, there’s more to the economy as such. For that, this booklet is too compact, but it gives thoughts to ponder.

About the author

Chris Oestereich is the founder and editor of the Wicked Problems Collaborative, a loose affiliation of thinkers and doers that are tackling some of humanity’s biggest issues. He tends to focus on social and environmental issues from a systems-thinking perspective and works to integrate these concerns in his writing and teaching, as well as through the zero waste/circular economy work that he does. Chris is a contributor to a variety publications, and he writes about the issues and opportunities central to nudging humanity towards a sustainable future. Chris holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Masters in Environmental Management from Harvard University.​ He lives with his family in Bangkok, Thailand where he’s the he’s an adjunct and former faculty member of Thammasat University’s School of Global Studies. He’s also the leader of Linear to Circular, which helps organizations move towards the circular economy, as well as a co-founder of the Circular Design Lab, a volunteer-led effort that’s working to bring systemic design to the masses.

I received a free advanced review copy from publisher Wicked Problems Collaborative via in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.