New Economy, New Systems: Radical Responses to Our Sustainability Crises, edited by John Blewitt and published by GoodWorks, an imprint of the Schumacher Institute, will be available from the 21st of October 2022.
Contributions from Inez Aponte, Hugh Atkinson, John Blewitt, Jenneth Parker, Kristin Vala Ragnarsdottir and Ian Roderick.
From the introduction:
The book is for all of us who know that we need to change the economy in response to our worsening ecological and social crises. The authors are all fellows of the Schumacher Institute whose purpose is to assist in developing ‘sustainable systems’.
We would like you to find this book, and related resources, of use on your own path, whatever that may be and invite you to our debates and events. This is the ‘crisis of sustainability.
In the book, we discuss the possibilities for changing the economy by using systems approaches. The responses here are ‘radical’ in several ways: we look at the ‘roots’ of the western view of the economy and make clear its fatal problems; we talk about approaches that produce fundamental systemic change; we discuss and contribute to the political changes that are needed.
Sustainability has made headway in a wide variety of areas of human life, social movements, governance, learning and policy, including international agreements. We call for a radical re-set of the sustainability agenda to recognise the full extent of the changes needed and their urgency. We take sustainability to its next level by integrating economic change fully into the central political agenda.
In addition to our chapters we were invited to answer the question ‘What does the new economy mean to you?’ Below is my reply. You can read Chapter 5 in four separate posts starting here.
“In the new economy we are finally giving attention to and valuing the foundations of life and human societies. Our interdependence with the earth and other species is central to all our economic decisions, as are our relationships with each other, starting with our primary relationship of parent/carer and child.
Governments support communities to provide the best possible opportunities for children and young people to thrive and develop into emotionally and physically healthy members of society. The role of parents and carers, and the importance of the domestic sphere, is lifted up and has been foregrounded in our cultural life too. We have shifted our values from the high octane, competitive and dominating to the considered, collaborative and convivial. We value teachers and carers, artists and poets, gardeners and cooks and anyone doing useful things that really meet our needs. We have time to celebrate and – dare I say it – do nothing, laze about, watch the clouds go by, because we are no longer enslaved by a profit driven economic system.
We have understood the meaning of enough and this has allowed us to distribute the earth’s wealth fairly across nations as well as devote considerable efforts towards restoring the earth’s life supporting systems. We use our technologies in service of all life, not just humans. We are no longer afraid of dying.”
Read Chapter 5 – Communities as Hothouses for Regenerative Culture