Neva Rockefeller Goodwin is probably best known for her leadership of shareholder action at ExxonMobil, intended to help the company, sooner rather than later, to anticipate and take leadership in ushering in a post-carbon economy. But on October 28th visitors to Britain’s House of Commons could have heard Dr. Goodwin, an economist and Co-Chair of the Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University, addressing an All-Party Parliamentary Group on the need for new kinds of economic thinking to meet our current environmental and social challenges.
Her remarks on this occasion were based on her paper: “A New Economics for the Twenty-first Century“. The other speakers were Peter Victor, Professor in Environmental Studies at York University, Canada, and a board member of the New Economics Institute, and Charles Seaford, Head of the Centre for Well-being at the New Economics Foundation and a coordinator of the Parliamentary Group on Economics of Wellbeing. Seaford spoke of the importance of changing policy goals from maximizing GDP to maximizing well-being. Dr. Victor described his model for how the Canadian economy can move from its present path to one of low or no growth, while still increasing well-being, as described in his book, “Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design not Disaster“. However, to comprehend and support such policy changes a new economic theory needs to be developed and made accessible to governments and their citizens. Neva Goodwin outlined aspects of that alternative economic theory.
Kelvin Hopkins, a Labour Member of Parliament commented after the session that he wished it could have been heard by all of the 659 Members. He urged the speakers to continue to build the case for a new economics. The trip to London was part of a five person delegation from the New Economics Institute to a conference on “Modeling the Great Transition,” hosted by partners at the New Economics Foundation. It is a bold project. We all know parts of the new economy, whether the words we use to describe it are “sustainable”, “just”, “transparent”, or “secure”; or perhaps “local empowerment”,”global caring”, “well-being”, or “community”. But how do all of these fit together, and how will we get from our current economic condition to the one we imagine?
These were the questions that were addressed at the conference and that will be further addressed by speakers at the Thirtieth Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures on November 20 in New York City. “Voices of a New Economics” will feature Gus Speth, dean of the environmental movement and author of “The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability”; Stewart Wallis, Executive Director of London’s prestigious New Economics Foundation; and Neva Goodwin, whose development of forward-looking principles of economics is based on understanding and concern for the social and ecological contexts in which the economy is embedded.
Please join us on November 20 for the Thirtieth Annual Schumacher Lectures to continue the work of shaping an economy designed to support human well-being and restore our common eco-system. The location is Community Church at 40 East 35th Street in New York City. The program begins at 10AM and continues to 5PM. Tickets are $65 each and may be ordered through the New York Open Center, or by calling 212 219-2527 x 2.
The following groups are adding their voices to the discussion by co-sponsoring the lectures: American Sustainable Business Council, BALLE, BerkShares, Capital Institute, Confluence Philanthropy, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy, David Suzuki Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Garrison Institute, Global Development And Environment Institute, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, Kosmos Journal, The Land Institute, New Economy Network, Ocean Arks International, Other Worlds, Tikkun, Westport Village Green Initiative, and Your Olive Branch.
Susan Witt and Stephan Crown-Weber
Berkshire Office and Library
New Economics Institute
140 Jug End Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Board of Directors: Gar Alperovitz, Jessica Brackman, Eric Harris-Braun,John Fullerton, Neva Goodwin, Hildegarde Hannum, Dan Levinson, Richard Norgaard, David Orr, Will Raap, Gus Speth, Peter Victor, and Stewart Wallis.
Advisory Board: Peter Barnes, Merrian Fuller, Bill McKibben, Otto Scharmer, Doug Tompkins, and Robert Wade.
The New Economics Institute (formerly the E. F. Schumacher Society) is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations supporting its work are tax-deductible (https://www.neweconomicsinstitute.org/donate.html).