What if human well-being didn’t have to be at the expense of the environment? What if we could simultaneously increase genuine prosperity, reduce social inequality, and tackle climate change?
With some simple economic shifts, all this becomes possible. That’s because so many of our current crises—financial, social and ecological—are linked to the scale of the economy. Localisation is a solution-multiplier that systemically reduces economic scale, creating benefits that ripple throughout society.
At this day-long seminar, hosted by Local Futures, Global Hub for the Common Good and Initiatives of Change, Local Futures’ founder Helena Norberg-Hodge articulated a paradigm for an ‘economics of happiness’. Her talk highlighted human-scale economies and the steps at the community, national, and international levels, that can bring us there. She was joined by Stephen Hinton, co-founder of the Swedish Transition movement, and Diego Isabel La Moneda, founder of Global Hub for the Common Good. Local Futures’ film The Economics of Happiness was also screened and, in discussion with the audience, the speakers explored how we can sustainably meet both human and ecological needs by going local.
Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of Local Futures/ISEC. A pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement, she has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological well-being for more than thirty years. She is the producer and co-director of the award-winning documentary, The Economics of Happiness, and the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, described as “an inspirational classic”. She was honored with the Right Livelihood Award (or ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) for her groundbreaking work in Ladakh, and is a recipient of the Goi Peace Prize for contributing to “the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide.” Helena is also a founding member of the International Forum on Globalisation (IFG) and The Global Ecovillage Network.
Stephen Hinton is one of the founders of the Transition Movement in Sweden, and the co-founder of the Swedish Eco-village, Änggärdet. After leaving the telecommunications company Ericsson in 2002, his focus shifted to developing ways for organizations and communities to take the lead in sustainable development. Starting with addressing resource shortages as limits to growth, he went on to work with envisioning techniques to develop ideas for sustainability and then to practical implementation of a range of instruments, from city walking maps to flexible pollutant fees. Stephen is often engaged to speak on topics such as moving away from an industrial mindset, transitioning away from fossil fuels, co-creation and new financial possibilities as well as the inner transition accompanying the move from consuming to co-producing. For more information, see https://stephenhinton.org/
Lawrence Bloom was appointed the first Chairman of the World Economic Forum at Davos’ Global Agenda Council on Urban Management. He is also the former Chairman of the UN Environmental Programme, Green Economy Initiative, Green Cities, Buildings and Transport Council. While formerly working in the property industry, among a number of senior positions, he sat on the Executive Committee of the InterContinental Hotels Group where he helped to transform the environmental impact of the global hotel industry. For more information, see www.lawrencebloom.com
Diego Isabel La Moneda, Director of the Global Hub for the Common Good, specialises in new economics, social and political innovation, sustainable development and business management and has worked with private companies, public institutions and governments. He also coordinates the International Expansion of the ‘Economy for the Common Good’. Diego is author of the book, Yo Soy Tú: Propuesta para una Nueva Sociedad, and co-author of Dentro de 15 años.
Michael Smith, Head of Business Programmes at Initiatives of Change, journalist and author of the books Great Company: trust, integrity and leadership in the Global Economy and Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy, will host the event. Michael is a member of the coordinating team which organises an annual conference on Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy in Caux, Switzerland. The 10th anniversary conference was from 5 to 10 July 2016.
Full scholarships are available. For more information, please email: [email protected]
Photo by Karim Ahmed Hasan