How to heal our cancerous economy

How to heal our cancerous economy

What was the nature of their innovation and how did it contribute to humankind? Tom Rippin is a social entrepreneur and former biophysicist who has recast our economy as a human body. His startling conclusion is that our economy is suffering from advanced cancer. By using this startling metaphor, he shines a new light on fundamental questions like: What is economic success? What is the purpose of organisations? What drives healthy and unhealthy economic behaviours? How should different parts of the economic system relate to each other? Audiences come away with a deeper and more immediate understanding and a greater sense of urgency. Tom Rippin proposes an approach for healing our economy based on how healthy systems behave. These healthy behaviours, that are common to all healthy systems, provide a blueprint for how to guide and evaluate organisations of all types in our economy. See more detail in this lecture: and this article: Tom Rippin draws on his practical experience as a social entrepreneur and as a former cancer research scientist. Through On Purpose (, the international social enterprise he founded, he has involved thousands of professionals, and inspired hundreds to change and dedicate their careers to bringing about a healthy economy through the work they do every day.



This is not only a much-needed new view of things that helps people engage with complex economic thinking, it is also rooted in practical work with hundreds of organisations across all sectors of the economy.

The case for good examples setting an example in society is a convincing one. Our current society has an inequality problem. Some companies deal with this problem by not falling into the trap of single-use consumption. Single-use consumption makes it easy to manage money by putting aside the management of everything else. Let's create a more equal society by managing more than money.

Using a provocative yet comprehensive metaphor, Tom delivers a clear message, understandable by all about how we could heal our world and our economies. His innovative point of view and actions such as OnPurpose are already benefitting hundreds of people, and change sustainably organizations behaviours.

Tom Rippin combines new economic thinking with doing. On Purpose has started 10 years ago bringing into action a new approach to work and organisational impact. Tom has been nurturing a community that has more than 1.500 people in the world (Associates, Fellows, Coaches, Mentors, Trainers and core team members). I am proud of being part of this movement.

Tom is a boundary-crossing thinker, applying biological metaphors to economics, and an innovative social entrepreneur. The organisation that Tom founded has enabled hundreds of people to change career towards work that builds a healthier economy, and hundreds more have been involved as trainers, mentors, coaches and employers. You could say that his ideas and the people he has worked with are spreading like anti-cancerous agents into the workplace and the economy.

Inspiring and visionary, while being deeply human ... Tom has the qualities we need to drive the transition of our system towards a new sustainable economy

A timely rethink about the need to move swiftly in the direction of an economic model that works for all

Tom gave a very inspiring and convicing speech in Paris a few days ago at "les universit├ęs d'├ęt├ę de l'├ęconomie de demain" (event that brought together 1500+ people working to make a sustainable economy and society happen : citizens, social businesses, investors, corporates...)

The breadth and depth of Tom's argument is breathtaking and compels us to act as individuals to change the systems of which we are a part.

I thought Tom's reframing of how we can contribute to healthy organisations was really important. Rather than building a 'business case', what if we had to build a 'systems case'?

Tom is not only a good communicant - using startling metaphor of cancer is the best way to rise people consciousness and have an easy reminder for such a complex topic - but also actively tackling the disease with the program On-Purpose, which creates bridges between an old and new way of contributing to the system with more sustainability and responsibility. Hats off!

A clever and simple way to community a complex message. Given the challenges our economy faces, it couldn't be more needed.

Inspiring individuals to go for a purpose driven career is very much needed.

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