December 16, 2008
“Something about our global economic system is broken. I say that not as an environmentalist or as a human rights activist, but as a former managing director and nearly twenty-year veteran of JPMorgan and subsequently a hedge fund CEO.”
The above quote, by John Fullerton, is taken from his essay published by The Schumacher Society in May 2008, “The Relevance of E.F. Schumacher in the 21st Century.” As his quote states, John is a former MD of JPMorgan and CEO of an energy focused hedge fund. He is an example of someone schooled in mainstream finance and economics who has come to realise that the current global economic system is intrinsically both socially iniquitous and environmentally destructive, and that only an economic system that recognises scale has any chance of being truly sustainable. To quote from him again:
“Our global economic system is broken not because of the credit crisis; it is broken because it is predicated on perpetual, resource driven growth with no recognition of scale limitations…We should search with an open mind for the wisdom we need to transition our economic system onto a sustainable path, grounded in ecological reality, with a respect for human justice and a deep appreciation for all life.”
“…Seeing global finance – what I do – as a root cause in fuelling our unsustainable economic system has shaken many of my prior beliefs in economics … Transitioning to a sustainable and just economic system is the ultimate challenge of the 21st Century. History no doubt will judge our generation by how well we acknowledge, embrace and take up this challenge.”
Such statements invite the questions of what alternative and sustainable economic models would look like, and how can we implement them? This will be the topic for intense discussion and debate at our forthcoming short course -–
Embedding Holistic Economics
January 26 – February 13, 2009 (a one, two or three week residential course)
We anticipate hosting an eclectic mix of course participants, from activists and “alternative economists” to mainstream financiers and economists, like John Fullerton, who are recognising there is a need for economic change and are now willing to explore what is for them radically new economic territory. Renowned teachers Manfred Max-Neef, Colin Hines, David Boyle, Ralf Becker and Wolfgang Sachs will present their ideas and invite participants to challenge and explore them. They will show how the current economic crisis presents an opportunity to innovate and create new systems that support human society whilst respecting ecological limits – factors which are increasingly being demanded by both customers and politicians.
The course brings together renowned teachers Manfred Max-Neef, Colin Hines, David Boyle, Ralf Becker and Wolfgang Sachs who will show how the current economic crisis presents an opportunity to create radically new economic systems that support human society whilst respecting ecological limits – factors which are increasingly being demanded by both customers and politicians.
“The global economy is now so large that society can no longer pretend it operates within a limitless ecosystem. Developing an economy that can be sustained within the finite biosphere requires new ways of thinking and acting. The course will focus on the three major avenues to arrive at a sustainable economy. First, dematerialisation points the way to a resource-light economy. Second, regeneration implies the alliance of technical means with natural flows. And third, moderation aims at living well while downscaling the power offered by the economic system. With respect to all three avenues, the necessary transition in politics, technology, and culture will be discussed.”
Wolfgang Sachs, The Wuppertal Institute
Who should join us?
This is a course for anyone whose professional interests are concerned with money, finance and economics, and who is seriously invested in contributing to the social, economic and environmental well-being of all.
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Schumacher College looks forward to welcoming you.