Hazel Henderson (1989)We continue to miss the presence of Hazel, who passed away earlier this year. We are honored to hold a piece of her legacy in her memorable 1989 lecture, which centers on the bottom-up pursuit of better economic frameworks and indicators to guide local communities in sustainable development and well-being. She introduces her “layer cake” visualization of the whole economy, including crucial elements on which “formal” economies were built, but which are too often left out (a visualization Kate Raworth has credited with helping to inspire her Doughnut Economic model).
The more we have improved social and economic indicators to provide better feedback on our current course, the sooner political will can be mustered for the necessary shift… We particularly need to know the social costs of our current course, from the approximately $30 billion the U.S. will have to spend to clean up toxic dumps to the $60 billion per year in medical and absenteeism costs in the U.S. caused by smoking. This information…makes it possible to relate which kinds of consumption lead to which kinds of disease—for example, linking sugared cereals to tooth decay—so that the social costs could be charged to manufacturers.
Natural resources can be conserved by correcting prices to include social costs incurred…[i]ntroducing a new set of “green” sin taxes on pollution, depletion, obsolescence, and waste. Full-cost pricing will provide a more accurate market-allocation method…
“The New Economics of Plenitude”
Juliet Schor (2011)
In the wake of the Great Recession, Juliet’s lecture asks how the New Economy movement can address “the opening created by the Occupy movement, as well as future openings…articulating an alternative to the business-as-usual economy.” Her proposal centers the idea of liberation from the advance of the globalized trickle-up system:
The resulting vision is a society with growing room not for passive leisure, but for self-directed and smaller-scale self-actualization. Notably, Juliet highlights the promise of commonly-tended digital and web-based tools to facilitate sharing, reuse, and “high-tech” self-provisioning:
Winona LaDuke (2017)Winona’s 2017 lecture adds the invaluable indigenous perspective of a self-styled “tribal economist.” Adding depth to the contrast between conventional and new economics, she juxtaposes Wiindigo or “cannibal economics” with traditional ways of the Ojibwe, epitomized in the notion of Minobimaatisiiwin, or “the good life.”
Wiindigo economics was then and still is what is taught in every university, a predatory economic system based on the idea that you can just keep taking and you will not have to pay for what you take…
I asked one of my elders, “What is the word for economics?” and he replied, ondizi, “How we live.” That’s what he said: “How we live.” That’s it… In our community we have the term minobimaatisiiwin for the good life. Minobimaatisiiwin: it refers to how you will relate to the world, how you will relate to one another…
She goes on to describe how her theory is based in practice: regeneratively growing and marketing wild rice, developing community-scale renewable and energy-conservation projects, reclaiming America’s lost tradition of hemp fiber production—all in addition to the activism of combatting a fossil fuel pipeline. “Rather than waiting for someone else to fix it,” she summarizes “let’s just do it ourselves… In the next economy we’ll do meaningful things, and we’ll do them appropriately.”
Complementing one another with distinct calls to action, these lectures together reveal a common trajectory on which our upcoming event is sure to build. We applaud our “Renegade Economists” and look forward to hosting you on Saturday, November 12th at 2PM EST.