A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow


Level: beginner
TED, 2018
Perspective: Ecological Economics
Topic: degrowth, Development, Emerging economies, growth, mainstream critique, markets, resources, environment & climate, social ecological transformation
Format: Short Presentation
Duration: 00:15:46
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhcrbcg8HBw

In this Ted Talk, Oxford economist Kate Raworth argues that instead of prioritizing the growth of nations, the world should rather prioritize meeting the needs of all people living on the planet within ecological limits. The new form of progress should balance the dynamic relationship between what Raworth refers to as a social foundation and ecological ceiling. She argues that humans take material from this Earth for production and then throw it away, leading to a degenerative system. The new economy should be regenerative and distributive, which will allow for numerous opportunities across a wide variety of sectors in the economy.

Comment from our editors:

While ecological priorities differ from nation to nation, it is crucial to understand how ecology is embedded into our production systems and ultimately, the global economy. Raworth enforces us to reimagine what progress looks like, away from growth, and towards prioritizing what actually matters. It is time to remind ourselves what things are important for improving our social and economic life, rather than treating growth as an end in itself. 

The speaker's central argument advocates not only for more inclusion and sustainability in economics but also for the need of creative entrepreneurship. Rather than taking the GDP - accumulated through centralized growth of wealth and monetary power through mass production - as a key indicator of national wealth, measuring a society's wellbeing should be taken into account. The creation of new sustainable economies and networks based on the distribution of power can create social and ecological stability. 

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