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Phases of market transformation

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In Part I we have seen what happens when:

• Markets are designed in such a way that all actors are rewarded for seeking short-term benefits

• There is gap or distance between their actions and the consequences of their actions

• These markets operate in the context of failing government systems

• The basic conditions for change are not present

It is under these conditions that negative loops are able to feed off each other, creating a perfect storm; markets become caught in negative spirals that eventually cause the entire system to fail. In these conditions most of the actors will feel that they have no other option but to continue with business as usual, because trying to do the right thing means acting against your own interests. A famous Chinese proverb says: “If we don't change our direction, we're likely to end up where we're headed,” and this is exactly the case when systems fail. If we don't change the rules of the game, we will reap what we have sown and the consequences will be devastating for everyone.

But how do you change systems that are caught in negative spirals? But, first, do we actually know what sustainable and balanced systems look like?
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Keywords: business management; competition; food systems; higher connectability; innovation; leadership; market transformation; sustainable agriculture; sustainable food production

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2014

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