11 June 2018
Cartoon Source: http://www.polyp.org.uk/cartoons.html
Reading a great book written by colleague and friend Maja
Göpel called the Great Mindshift: How a New Economic Paradigm and Sustainability Transformations go Hand in Hand
. I think most of us, albeit not
all, agree that the only way we will deal with the extreme challenges we face
as a global society and achieve a better life for all, is if we change the
entire economic system, along with its current measurements. Those in agreement
with this adopt a view that ecological systems host sociocultural systems and
that economic systems are a subordinate means in successfully structuring
human-nature relations. This is radically different to the view of the
mainstream paradigm that pursues the ongoing integration of social and
environmental concerns into economic governance logics by pricing them.
Göpel speaks about humans as individuals
agreeing that the current system does not work, but
acting as part of
the current system. A trap, so to speak. She purports 'no one I know is not in
favour of peace, of letting nature thrive and enabling every person and animal
to live a life of dignity. So why is this not possible?' How do we make this
possible, through individuals changing the system collectively?
Radically repurposing the agenda (towards our global Vision
2030) would mean recoupling economic processes with human wellbeing and nature's
law by making the economic dimension the one that needs changing. Given the
current structural reality, the foremost strategy for successive change in this
direction, she argues, i.e. the incremental strategies that can achieve it - is
1. Decouple the production of goods and services
from unsustainable, wasteful or uncaring treatment of humans, nature and
animals (do better).
2. Decouple the satisfaction of human needs from
the imperative to deliver ever more economic output (do well).
As she says, the second has been given much less attention
because the worldview informed by the current and mainstream economic paradigm
cannot even countenance it. So, what we will need to do first is change our own
worldviews. How many of us have transformative literacy (transformational and
transformative are both words that do not have meaning, and thus their deserved
weight, for many people, which is why they often cannot completely fathom the
radical transformation needed to achieve the SDGs), as well as futures literacy
(people's capacity to imagine futures that are not based on hidden, unexamined
and sometimes flawed assumptions about present and past systems)?
Some Monday food for thought as we navigate our
space to a better future for all...