Cradle to Cradle

Alternative economic and social concepts to Post-Capitalism

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“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,

http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/enquete-kommission-wohlstand-legt-abschlussbericht-vor-a-894481.html


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.

http://www.blueeconomy.de/; http://www.theblueeconomy.org/Home.html


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,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTuSnDXDckg


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;

http://attac-netzwerk.de/ag-lateinamerika/buen-vivir/;http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/buen-vivir-philosophy-south-america-eduardo-gudynas


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.orgwww.mitgruenden.at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Z2cXK5mhc;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o58yG3GHOwg


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/enwww.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.

http://www.wertewirtschaft.org/; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2xkOmK5MQ0;


 

“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;

http://ica.coop/en/media/news/co-operatives-must-help-redefine-concept-growth;

http://ica.coop/en/co-operatives-create-sustainable-growth-and-quality-employment


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