Workshop: Let’s create an economy for people and the planet, together!
On 1 December 2022 the fourth and final of this year’s four online workshops from our new Digital Workshop Series took place. The event was moderated by Jakob Hafele, co-founder of workshop host ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies.
The climate and biodiversity crisis, together with growing social polarisation, have made increasingly clear that people are ready for a transformation of our economic model. As it stands, 74% of people in G20 countries favour human wellbeing and environmental protection over profit maximisation. The big question is: How can we get there?
This workshop explored how we can create a wellbeing economy that enables a good life within planetary boundaries. We first discussed what’s needed to achieve this economic transformation, and the challenges that impedes on their current implementation. This understanding provided the basis to develop and co-create concrete transformational plans for key economic actors: households, communities, businesses, and the state.
We are delighted to share the main takeaways from the session below.
How can creative bureaucracies contribute to economic transformation?
PART I – VISION: What is your vision for an economy that works for people and the planet?
- 90% of Europeans agree that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced to make the EU
climate-neutral by 2050 (European Commission 2020)
- 74% of people in G20 countries want their country’s economic priorities to move beyond increasing profits and wealth to focus more on human wellbeing and ecological protection (Global Commons Alliance 2021)
- 66% of people in Germany agree that people who own more than 8 million euros should pay an additional annual tax of 1% of their total assets (Netzwerk Steuergerechtigkeit 2021)
PART II – COMPASS: What economy do we need to make these visions a reality?
For many decades, the compass guiding economic policy in most countries of the world pointed primarily at increasing economic activity, competitiveness, and growth to ensure short-term stability. However, the manifold crises – or “permacrisis” – we are currently facing have made us painfully aware that this compass falls short of sufficiently considering the long-term perspective of human flourishing within a thriving planet. The question is: How can we liberate economic stability and prosperity from economic growth, and thereby ensure a good life for present and future generations within planetary boundaries? The Doughnut (Raworth 2018) is a helpful alternative compass (see download below).
PART III – TRANSFORMATION PLANS: How can we use this compass to guide action?
A good place to start is to break things into the guiding questions different societal actors should be asking:
- Households: What would have to change so that we would live more sustainably? What incentives do we need?
- Businesses: How can we shift our business models from degenerative to regenerative, and from profit-driven to purpose-driven? Which regulations do we need?
- Communities: How can communities contribute to the transformation? Which regulations do we need?
- Governments: How do administrations have to change to enable the transformation? Which regulations can we create to steer progress? How can we make room for more experiments and participation?
- Wellbeing Economy Policy Design Guide: https://weall.org/policyguide
- ‘Policy-making Beyond Growth’ project knowledge hub: https://sustainable-prosperity.eu/
- ‘Building a Resilient Economy’ report: https://zoe-institut.de/en/publication/3339/