Citizen-led Economic Transition

Perhaps we all agree the current economic system is the problem. This is, of course, a generalisation which could be endlessly unpicked and elaborated. But if we’re concerned about global warming, biospheric damage, inequality, etc, the globe-sized elephant in the room, so to speak, is the dominant economic system powered by fossil fuels and predicated on endless consumption and growth. It’s efficiency-oriented and centralising, concentrating ever greater economic and political power in the hands of oligarchs and autocrats, which means change will not come easy.

Perhaps by now we also know that change is coming one way or the other. Experts warn we must rapidly reduce the energetic and material throughput of the global economic system by orders of magnitude in the coming years or face severe consequences, including a variety of collapse scenarios. These consequences will hit real people in real communities in our towns, cities, and surrounding regions. This suggests what’s needed is not just a radical rethink, but a radical reconfiguration of how we meet our needs.

At least part of the solution lies in developing alternatives to this system – alternatives that are just and inclusive, ecologically wise and socially regenerative, diverse and resilient. These alternatives should also be descentralising, shifting economic and political power back to communities and democratic institutions. And all of this in the context of dramatically less consumption of energy and material, while somehow delivering wellbeing for everyone. There is no bigger innovation challenge, however you may wish to think about innovation.

Read the rest at Enterprising Ecosystems

 

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