“Business Call to Action” to achieve Sustainable Development Goals
Enterprises want to open the huge underserved market of potential customers, – people with low incomes. To this end, businesses develop new business models reflecting customers, employees, suppliers respectively all affected stakeholders in their value chains. The concurrent inclusion of “poor people” in value-added chains dramatically improve their access to goods, services and income, and their situation. The goal is that companies contribute achieving the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations program “Business Call to Action” supports enterprises in their application of “Inclusive Business Models” especially for developing and emerging countries, www.undp.org, www.businesscalltoaction.org.
Presentation: Bridge for Cities, Belt & Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities, 2nd BRI Event – unido.org, 26 to 28 September 2017, Vienna International Centre Vienna, Austria
Tax Saving shall boost Economic?
Gfk (an Austrian polling firm) performed on behalf of Swiss Life Select a survey about the use of tax saving starting with 2016: Only 25% of the Austrians want to spend their additional money for consumption immediately. The Austrian Government assumed in its calculations of the tax reform a massive consumption-plus to boost the economy creating additional jobs covering counterpart funding. The government intervention of cutting income tax may or may not increase consumption. In fact, it depends on the (individual) person’s time preference: the current one seems to be low compared to the future time-preference, and its tendency (probability) to keep the available additional money is high. In other words, the time-preference is indirectly connected with the relative propensity of a person. The conclusion is: a sustainable increase in quantitative and qualitative consumption level requires a change in the behavior of individual persons. More important than direct government intervention is, therefore, that the citizens trust the institutions (state, city, municipalities, government, ministries, judiciary, tax office, unions, commercial departments, social insurance, etc.) again. The biggest challenge for institutions to win back the trust of their citizen is to act “sustainable” (TBL: People, Planet, Profit) and to provide fairness and equal opportunities for all persons whether it is in a developed, not developed or emerging country.
Roland Leithenmayr, VfV
“Limits to Growth” – The Legacy of Aurelio Peccei
The Club of Rome -1968 – proposed in its report “Limits to Growth”; – published in 1972 -, a new mindset now dominated by the concept of “sustainability” or “sustainable development”. An important role in the launching of the Club of Rome played Aurelio Peccei, who died 1984. Peccei was a resistance fighter in Italy and participated in the reconstruction of the private and public sector (Fiat, Alitalia, etc.). He always had an open eye for social and political development in particular in the Mediterranean area. He founded Italconsult and managed Olivetti. Peccei was one of the founder and architects of the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg / Austria in 1972. Later Peccei was a member of the International Board of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Through his experience as an entrepreneur and his knowledge of global economy; his understanding of the connections between the disparate phenomena; and finally his unlimited commitment and sense of responsibility for mankind and its human capital, – regardless of where someone lives or whatever responsibilities he had in his life -, played a fundamental role in the preparation of his book “The Chasm Ahead” (1969). This book started the debate about limits which now has lasted 43 years since the publication of “Limits to Growth” See more “The Legacy of Aurelio Peccei” ->CSD036
Roland Leithenmayr, VfV
Debt ist Good – Debt is Bad ?
Contribution to CSD’s project 01: A Healthy Planet for Future Generations, Human Rights and Sustainable Development – Obstacles to progress in the present world economic system: High public debt in many countries.
On the subject of public debt, many known economists have different opinions and want to clean up several errors: (1) high public debt damages the economy, (2) A high level of government debt is the cause of unemployment, (3) A high public debt burdens future generations.
To deal with the subject in depth, the two subject “public debt” and “contracting debt” must be clearly separated to understand the different effects. Until the year 1970, the national debt was small in Austria. Chancellor Bruno Kreisky incurred high debt: but it worked and the economy began to flourish. 45 years later, Austria has a relatively high debt but the incurring debt is relatively low, the result is that the economy gets deeper and deeper into crisis. But even incurring debt (2012) to stimulate the construction industry brought very little. Many economists see a strong correlation between public debt and economic growth. Paul C. Martin, – not so well known as Paul Krugman – , presents in his book “Die Krisenschaukel (1997) ” his observation: “The higher the government debt increases, the lower was the economic growth. If the growth was below zero, – shrinking of the GDP -, the national debt will rise even faster. The state has to add the interest (in the Greek are high) to the public debt because the taxes can’t be raised in a crisis without exacerbating this even more. Also, the government wants to help (unemployed, etc.!). This economic growth will continue to plop – until finally all are unemployed ” Another effect is that the richer are getting richer earning the dividends of the state as “unearned income”.
Paul Krugman: Debt is Good! – http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2015/08/paul-krugman-debt-is-good.html
Public Debt and Economic Growth: Correlation ist not Causation!
See on this subject: http://www.oekonomenstimme.org/
Roland Leithenmayr, VfV
Alternative economic and social concepts to Post-Capitalism
“If there is a magic formula for reducing poverty without growth, I would like to know!”
Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Advisor to the World Bank, Professor at the Wirtschaftsuniversität Vienna, Institute for Money – and Financial Policy. Learn more about him: http://www.wu.ac.at/fileadmin/wu/d/i/vw1/CV_2015_Crespo.pdf
The UN NGO Committee on Sustainable Development (CSD) in Vienna/Austria elaborates on the project
“A Healthy Planet for Future Generations, Human Rights and Sustainable Development – 2 obstacles to progress in the present world economic system.”
how the current economic system can be positively adapted to gain sustainability.
Many (hobby) economists make the claim that their interpretation of economics is the only correct one. The discussions denigrate at the low level with the aim of trying to enforce their view and ideas about the economy. When analyzing comprehensive their contrary opinions, it turns out that there are numerous similarities.
Arthur Koestler’s describes in his book the “Sleepwalkers” how many great thinkers of the past seem to have wandered around and around the concepts they were seeking until they eventually stumbled upon them. Researchers, Hobby-Economics. Realists and Idealists and others are “sleepwalking” around trying to come up with concepts to solve the big problems of our time such as over- indebtedness of countries, resource depletion, economic growth and unemployment, climate change, the growing gap between rich and poor, etc.
Below is an overview of alternative economic and social concepts: (source modified and supplemented: RELEVANT, Das Magazin der Österreichischen Kontrollbank Gruppe, Sondernummer # 1a/2013)
Green Economy: The vision is the green transition of the economy leading to sustainable development; representatives of this vision are UNEP and OECD; it’s a political national and international approach, http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/
Inclusive Growth: The goal is employing productively many people as possible to generate economic growth for example by means of endorsing education in all it’s alternative forms; representatives are EU, UNDP and others. The approach is political national and international; http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTDEBTDEPT/Resources/468980-1218567884549/WhatIsInclusiveGrowth20081230.pdf
Europe 2020: smart, sustainable and inclusive economy should help the EU and the Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion; representatives are the European Commissions and European Council; the approach is political, European and national. http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm
Enquete Commission für Wachstum, Wohlstand und Lebensqualität: concrete policy recommendations to create more prosperity and quality of life in Germany; 17 deputies of the German Bundestag, 17 external experts; Germany in international context, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6B7LRc8PN4,
Blue Economy: The innovative use of waste and resources leads to a prosperous Zero Emission Economy; Gunter Pauli, Blue Economy Institute, Blue Economy Alliance; Applying internationally, scientific and entrepreneurial.
Cradle to Cradle: Closed material cycles make “intelligent waste” possible, Michael Braungart, William McDonough, International, scientifically and entrepreneurially, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cradle-to-cradle_design
Faktor X: More prosperity from less nature by increasing resource productivity by a factor of X; Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, factor X Institute; on the national and international level; scientific, entrepreneurial and political; http://factor10.de/category/factor-10-club/, http://www.faktor-x.info/wissenschaft/schmidt-bleek-mai-2003/interview-schmidt-bleek.html
Steady State Economy: Economic development at an optimum physical level; Herman E. Daly; global, scientifically; http://steadystate.org/, http://steadystate.org/discover/definition/
Degrowth: Downsizing of the economy for more social equality, environmental sustainability and well-being; many activists and scholars; local to global; science and civil society; http://www.degrowth.org/
Degrowth Society: An economy that leads to high standard of living within ecological limits without growth; Tim Jackson, Niko Paech, Peter Victor; national, scientific and civil society,
Buen Vivir: Economical Development model which leads to a good life; Alberto Costa, Eduardo Gudynas; South America, Ecuador, and Bolivia, national, civil society and enterprising, http://buenvivir.biz/index.html;
Common Welfare Economy (The Economy for the Common Good): economy based on welfare-oriented principles; Christian Felber, 500 pioneering companies, national, civil society and entrepreneurial;
www.christian-felber.at; www.gemeinwohl-oekonomie.org; www.mitgruenden.at
Solidarity Economy: The variety of grass-roots democracy and needs-based forms of economic life: many actors, mostly locally, civil society, self-organized; http://socialeconomy.itcilo.org/en; www.unrisd.org/
Global Economic Ethic: approach on global understanding and ethical force (Principle of Humanity and Golden Rule) bringing the ethical framework into the heart of business, economic and management actions – Economic success (profit) and ethical action are not mutually exclusive; Hans Küng, Klaus M. Leisinger, Josef Wieland; national and international approach on all levels: political, economical and management; http://www.globaleconomicethic.org/
Value Based Economics (Wertewirtschaft) : Bridging the gap between “egoistic ” economy and for the called “values”; Austrian School of Economics; Institut für Wertewirtschaft (“Institute for value-based economics”) in Vienna/Austria), Rahim Taghizadegan, Eugen Maria Schulak; international, national, political, philosophical, economical and management.
“Social-solidarity economies” applying the concept of co-operatives (Genossenschaften): Appreciation and application of the “original” cooperative thoughts of co-operatives; local and internationally, scientific and entrepreneurial approach. Persons giving momentum in Austria: http://hefte.gea.at/brennstoff40/#p=13;
These are just some of the concepts of post-capitalism. The NGO Committee on Sustainable Development (SDG) would be pleased to learn about other existing concepts, or you represent your own.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
We need three (3) Planets !
Remember the lecture by Mr. Wolfgang Pekny, Footprint-Consult eU, at the meeting of CSD, October 8, 2013? He warned that the generation of our children has a poorer prospect for the future than their parents: the scarcity of resources, climate change, hunger, financial crises, and refugee crisis are symptoms of the same phenomenon: the planet Earth has become too small for the economies and lifestyles of the “Global Consumer Class”. A good measure (but heavily criticized) is the “ecological footprint”: According to this we currently need three (3) planets! For more information:
Human Capacity Building and the SDGs
The Sustainable Development Goals contain 17 goals and 169 targets. Many criticize that the scope is too broad, lacking coherence, priorities and a clear time frame; however, all agree that the six thematic elements are essential: People, Planet, Partnership, Justice, Prosperity and Dignity. Compare to the Triple Bottom Line Approach: People, Planet, Profit (for all).
There are direct and indirect references to Human Capacity Building:
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls
Goal 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for women and men, including for young people and humans with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Compare to the goal “Energy for All”.
Goal 8.6: By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.
(Source: Human capacity building and the SDGs, OFID Quarterly, April 2015)
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
Creative Destruction and Decoupling
Most individuals want to decide freely and focus on their own well-being even when Empathy (Golden Rule, Confucius, etc.) affects their actions. Well-being means for entrepreneurs to generate profits by continual searching to produce and market better and newer (cheaper) products and services. The US-Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter (8 February 1883 – 8 January 1950) calls this process “creative destruction”. This process should ensure continuous growth of the economy. Schumpeter’s opinion that it will ultimately lead to the demise of capitalism has not hitherto been verified. On the other hand the future of our planet needs environmentally to be secured too. To solve this dilemma, continually growth of economic requires to be decoupled from continually increasing material throughput. This is called “decoupling” and “dematerialization”. Many experts critisize that decoupling doesn’t work. Continuous innovation (green economy) creates jobs fighting against poverty worldwide. This is a contribution to the project (see Project) and document (see Document) of CSD “Human Rights and Sustainable Development” about Innovation (letter I) .
Roland Leithenmayr VfV