Person to Person is a pensive book that suggests means of fostering autonomy, community, connectivity, and collaborative economic environments.
In their forward-looking economics guide Person to Person, Joeri Torfs and Pim Ampe propose ways to achieve universal economic equality and improve the quality of people’s lives.
In four tidy parts, this book explores the concept of decentralized interpersonal communications, based on unity and frictionless collaboration within groups and society. Its model is designed to overcome the constraints of contemporary systems, facilitating improved qualities of life. Techniques and tools for building and supporting collaborative communities and economic environments are suggested, alongside the promise of opportunities that could arise from them.
Though its concepts are ambitious, the book makes them more approacable via neat lists and summaries. The former outline concepts like people’s fundamental understandings of quality of life, as well as how person-to-person environments can apply to issues like housing. The latter reemphasize the purposes of the book’s proposals, naming benefits like providing each member of a team with a sense of belonging, or reiterating the responsibilities that team members have in collaborative business environments. Prominent current issues, as of mounting debt, unethical and unconstructive leadership, and obstacles within financial systems, are also tackled; many are attributed to social and economic inequity, both of which are supported by companies and governments.
To further illustrate the value of its proposals, the book includes an allegorical tale throughout, centering a group of college students who build a business together. They are diverse team, with circumstances that reflect common issues: Jake, a freshman from an underprivileged background, funds part of his tuition through loans, and contemplates careers that would help him pay his debt off faster; and Leon comes from a wealthy background and has a strained relationship with his father. Their circumstances are designed to be widely relatable, and—through their meetings, business operations, and the use of a speculative troubleshooting tool—they ably demonstrate the book’s ideals.
Still, the book’s solutions—including collaborative leadership within companies, the separation of money from power, and placing all property into a public trust—are roundly idealistic. They all hinge on the willingness of those in power to relinquish their control for the good of all. Other people are called upon to be vulnerable and self-aware in assessing their own problematic behavior, too. Indeed, many people would have to listen to others, and be level-headed, for such transformations to come to fruition. And though the book includes real-life examples of companies and people who have already adopted revolutionary ideas to ensure equity, these isolated cases are also not the norm.
Written with the hope that its audiences will be willing to affect great change, Person to Person is a pensive book that suggests means of fostering autonomy, community, connectivity, and a collaborative economic environment.
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