"Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist" - Kenneth Boulding (Quaker economist)
Unfortunately, this is not a view which is shared by the majority of our academic institutions or politicians! Economic theory, as taught in British universities, assumes that infinite growth is indeed possible. And although Britain uses approx 66% more resources than is sustainable (according to The Global Footprint Network), almost all our politicians talk about how to get the economy growing again (which inevitably means using more resources): the emphasis is on increasing efficiency, the language that of scarcity, and anything approaching spiritual values is considered irrelevant.
NOT an academic conference but a weekend for those who care and want to better understand this topic, Steve Mandel (former development economist), leads us on an intriguing and thought-provoking journey around current economic theory and considers whether unsustainability is really inevitable or if we can run our economy in a truly sustainable way. Can we, for example, have an economy in which spiritual values have a place?
Using Quaker pamphlets such as "Principles for a New Economy" as our starting point, we shall examine these and discuss the extent to which they offer any hope for an alternative economic future and how we might apply them.
'A New Economy' takes place at Othona from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th May 2018.
For information on Steve's academic papers: https://independent.academia.edu/SteveMandel
(Sorry. This link isn't working. Try googling 'Steve Mandel + Research', etc)
For information on the Quaker pamphlets: http://www.quaker.org.uk/our-work/economic-justice/new-economy
(Image credit: www.sustainability-academy.org)