A Path from Competition to Association


Associative economics is based on the idea that economic life is the responsibility of every human being in collaboration with humanity as a whole. Proceeding from what we think and do, rather than by way of abstract forces, associative economics is about making this responsibility conscious and finding ways to give it effect in practical life.

Created by the Associative Economics Association*, the æ-Mark was created on 29 September 1998, as a Quality Guarantee Mark to promote an associative approach to modern economic life by raising awareness of the economics not only of one's own enterprise but also of the wider economic environment in which it is exists. 

Originally formally established in 38 countries, the ae-Mark envisages a path from competition to association, along which individual entrepreneurs assume responsibility for the conduct of economic life, rather than governments, the state, banks, or abstract market forces.

Subject to its Criteria and Guidelines, the ae-Mark is intended for self-audited and self-certified assessment of the ‘associative character’ of an enterprise (including the self-employed and sole traders), regardless of its size, locality and domain of operation and whether agricultural, industrial, commercial, financial, governmental, humanitarian or cultural.

A substantial ‘literature’ exists concerning associative economics, representative texts of which can be found here.

* A public benefit association, founded in England and registered in Switzerland, the Associative Economics Association is an association in the sense of Articles 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Code. Its seat is at Les Murailles 5, CH 2037 Montezillon (Neuchâtel), Switzerland.