Watch the video highlights of this talk.
In the November issue of Resurgence and Ecologist magazine, Tony Juniper asks why the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, along with the majority of the world’s politicians, business leaders and policymakers, can’t he see that with a mantra of more and more economic growth, he is chasing an unachievable goal.
In the U.K, manufacturing has been outsourced to China and our oil is running out. The only realistic option for continued ‘growth’ in the current linear model is in the sector of infrastructure, but what will Mr. Osborne do when the entire countryside has been consumed by buildings, roads and railways?
In its truest sense, ‘economy’ is based on land, labour and capital. When politicians and business people talk about ‘economic’ growth, they are actually talking about industrial and financial growth. We need to stop using the term ‘economic growth’, call it what it truly is and then ask ourselves, can we achieve unlimited industrial growth forever?
The answer is obvious; we live on a finite planet.
Charles Eisenstein says that the disaster we’ve created of the world has manifested despite all of our supposedly most intelligent planning, logic, and technological solutions. But the thinking driving it has been linear and he argues that it is time we started listening to something else.
Satish Kumar suggests that the answer lies in nature. Why not learn from the cyclical ‘economy’ of Nature and create an economy that is self-renewing, self-managing and self-sustaining?
As a de-growth activist and theorist, Charles Eisenstein emphasises the importance and need for re-establishing human connections, re-skilling of the population and for people to learn to do and create things themselves without having to buy them. He has identified money systems and social structures which would work in this ‘de-growth’ context.
About the Speakers
Charles Eisenstein – Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution.
His books (The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics) as well as his other essays and blog posts on web magazines have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine’s “25 Intelligent Optimists” issue, David Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World) called Eisenstein “one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time.”
Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. He currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and three sons.
Satish Kumar – A former Jain monk and long-term peace and environmental activist, Satish walked 8,000 miles for peace. Last year was the 50th anniversary of this tremendous achievement and this year is the 40th anniversary of his role as editor-in-chief of Resurgence – now Resurgence & the Ecologist.
In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Plymouth and a year later he received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Lancaster and was also awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Abroad. He is the author of many books including No Destination and the presenter of the BBC2 Natural History film Earth Pilgrim.