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Economy model


Federal Ministry of Education and Research





“Purpose” as a meaningful model will not only change corporate governance and the way businesses are run, but will also permeate society as a whole. Particularly in the field of education, it will enhance or devalue certain values and virtues. In a joint study with Z_punkt, we investigated the possible effects of the Purpose Economy and compared it with other scenarios as part of our work for the Future Office. There is still uncertainty as to whether this will model prevail.

Economic and social realignment

Employees’ and job seekers’ expectations today go beyond a good salary, they also want meaningful employment. The Purpose Economy is an answer to this. It gives a higher meaning to the model for all economic and entrepreneurial activities.

The Purpose Economy is closely linked to sustainability objectives, on environmental, economic, and societal levels. It aims to respect limits both in terms of our planet and on an individual level.

The purpose model could lead to an economic realignment, which would require constant renegotiation in a democratic process. Whether the purpose model establishes itself will depend on the social, economic, and political environment. This is what is shown by the analysis of four alternative scenarios “sustainable change of direction,” “growth and competition,” “focused resilience,” and “agile in sight.”

Can purpose serve as a sustainable transformation narrative for micro- and macroeconomics?

The “New Purpose Economy Model?” study examines the question to what extent creating purpose can serve as a sustainable transformation narrative for micro- and macroeconomics. It examines the signals and drivers of a changing working and economic world and develops a working definition of a possible Purpose Economy model.

The study is released as one of the many results of the work of the Future Office as part of the Foresight III process. The Future Office is supervised by Prognos and Z_punkt on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Our approach

The study is based on a mix of exploratory and classic survey and analysis methods. Significant influencing factors were evaluated by experts and plausible development options were examined in a scenario workshop. By means of morphological analysis, the results were finally converted into scenarios. In order to explore how the previously defined “Purpose Economy model” could (or could not) be applied in future economic contexts, it was embedded and discussed in the context of alternative socio-economic futures (scenarios).

Links and downloads

To the study in German (   

More about our work as a Future Office

Project team: Dr. Christian Grünwald (Z_punkt), Thomas Danneil, Michael Astor, Holger Glockner (Z_punkt), Max Irmer (Z_punkt), Dr. Elena Aminova, Victor Wichmann, Lea Oneko (Z_punkt), Philipp Kürten (Z_punkt), Cordula Klaus

Last update: 31.05.2023

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