Creating an Economy for People and the Planet

The word ‘economy’ is derived from the Greek oikonomia which is roughly translated as ‘household management’. In its original sense then the economy was meant to be concerned with the management of our activities to meet our needs. Yet in recent times the economy has gained a life of its own and we seem to have become subservient to its need for continual growth.

“Nested sustainability-v2” by KTucker (CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

275px-Nested_sustainability-v2Over the last few months I have been part of a small working group (Turn the Systems Inside Out) that has been exploring what an economy would look like if it served human needs and respected the limits of our Earth.

As highlighted in some of my previous posts there are already a number of alternative initiatives and economic models out there. Yet these models have not yet gained enough movement to change the dominant system. It would seem that at a personal level we too need to examine what keeps us entrenched in the current economic system and what personal barriers there are which stop us from engaging in alternative initiatives.

We  will be running a workshop in September to further explore these issues with a larger group of people who are interested in exploring alternative ways to meet our needs. Full event details are available at If you would like more information email me.

Economies for People and the Planet FlyerImageFurther information:
A full set of readings for the workshop is available at

A great article on human needs and the Fundamental Human Needs matrix as a tool for measuring these needs was published by the SHIFT magazine

Groups such as the Post Growth Institute and the New Economic Foundation are great sites for further exploring alternative economic models.

A few years ago the Economics Working Group from Sustainable Communities SA produced following reports on the Economy.

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