About the Visioning and Modeling a New Economy theme
What will a new/green/resilient/just/sustainable economy look like and how do we get there from here? That is the question addressed under this theme, providing a framework and a long view on the subject. Workshops will cover historic examples, systems-thinking approaches, economic modeling tools, grass-roots community planning, and leadership training for a new economy. Workshop presenters include Richard Norgaard, Peter Victor, Stewart Wallis, Neva Goodwin, and Otto Scharmer.
For information about the workshops, please consult our workshop page which will be updated as information becomes available.
Watch videos, read articles, and explore blogs and websites.
Gus Speth on a New American Environmentalism and the New Economy
Despite stern warnings now thirty years old, we have neglected to act to halt the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and are now well beyond safe concentrations. Industrial processes are fixing nitrogen, making it biologically active, at a rate equal to nature’s; one result is the development of hundreds of documented dead zones in the oceans due to overfertilization. Human actions already consume or destroy each year about 40 percent of nature’s photosynthetic output, leaving too little for other species. Freshwater withdrawals are now over half of accessible runoff, and soon to be 70 percent. Water shortages are increasing in the United States and abroad. read more
Gus Speth - America the Possible: A Manifesto, Part I
LIKE YOU AND OTHER AMERICANS, I love my country, its wonderful people, its boundless energy, its creativity in so many fields, its natural beauty, its many gifts to the world, and the freedom it has given us to express ourselves. So we should all be angry, profoundly angry, when we consider what has happened to our country and what that neglect could mean for our children and grandchildren.read more
America the Possible: A Manifesto, Part II
WE NEED A COMPELLING VISION for a new future, a vision of a better country—America the Possible—that is still within our power to reach. The deep, transformative changes sketched in the first half of this manifesto provide a path to America the Possible. But that path is only brought to life when we can combine this vision with the conviction that we will pull together to build the necessary political muscle for real change. This article addresses both the envisioning of an attractive future for America and the politics needed to realize it. A future worth having awaits us, if we are willing to struggle and sacrifice for it. It won’t come easy, but little that is worth having ever does. read more
Paul Gilding on Unsustainable Economic Models
James Gustave Speth's Lecture "Off the Pedestal: Creating a New Vision of Economic Growth"
Let’s first take up the limits of growth. Despite the constant claims that we need more growth, there are limits on what growth can do for us. The ecological economist Herman Daly has reminded us that if neo-classical economists were true to their trade, they would recognize that there are diminishing returns to growth. Most obviously, the value of income growth declines as one gets richer and richer. Similarly, growth at some point has increasing marginal costs. For example, workers have to put in too many hours, or the climate goes haywire. It follows that for the economy as a whole, we can reach a point where the extra costs of more growth exceed the extra benefits. One should stop growing at that point. Otherwise the country enters the realm of “uneconomic growth,” to use Daly’s delightful phrase, where the costs of growth exceed the benefits it produces. read more
TED Talk with Tim Jackson about Humanizing our Economic System
John Todd's Call for an Ecological Economic Order
I owe E. F. Schumacher a debt of gratitude for helping me see economics as if people and nature mattered. Subsequently I have come to believe that a new sustainable economic order can be established with ecologically based enterprises. Further, the conceptual bases of these enterprises are similar whether applied in rich industrial nations or in poorer tropical countries. If this thesis is correct, applied ecology has the intrinsic potential to dissolve old divisions between north and south, industrial and agrarian, rich and poor. This is so because ecological knowledge can be applied universally and, equally important, can often lead directly to substitutes for capital and for nonrenewable resources. read more
Peter Victor Offers a No-Growth Scenario to the Council of Canadians