TOWARDS A REGENERATIVE ECONOMY - A report for The Capital Institute by John Fullerton April 2015 It is our view that the exponential growth of compound investment returns demanded by the financial system is in irreconcilable conflict with the finite boundaries of the biosphere. We believe this relentless and narrow pursuit of exponential growth of returns on financial capital, without reference to either the laws of science or to universally acknowledged moral and ethical values, is contributing to an ever-widening and destabilizing wealth gap, and security crises around the globe. Our mission is to provide a new theory grounded in real-world practice and accompanying narrative of the supportive, non-coercive role finance must play in the transition to a Regenerative Economy, an economy that harmonizes the multiple kinds of capital essential to human and planetary well-being. A multitude of innovators and entrepreneurs around the world are experimenting with practical ways to reimagine capitalism so that it works for all levels of society, as well as for the planet. Their common goal is to create a self-organizing, naturally self-maintaining, highly adaptive Regenerative form of capitalism that produces lasting social and economic vitality for global civilization as a whole. Over the last two years, Capital Institute has been working with many of these thought leaders and entrepreneurs in a quest to understand what a theoretical framework for regenerative economies would look like, and what conditions and processes contribute to their long-term systemic health. The report also explores how a Regenerative Economy would differ from today’s flawed theory of capitalism, and how it would compare to other New Economy ideas such as natural capitalism, sustainable capitalism, conscious capitalism, doughnut economics, circular economies, sharing economies, steady-state economies, etc. Our Regenerative story starts with a single core idea , "The universal patterns and principles the cosmos uses to build stable, healthy, and sustainable systems throughout the real world can and must be used as a model for economic system design"
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There has never been such a crying need for a bold vision of the future. If we fail to reverse the policies that have been driving climate change, we face disaster on a world scale. Yet since the 1980s, radical politics has lost its vision of how to create a qualitatively better society for everyone and lost the ability to inspire. In ‘A Convenient Truth’ Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett set out a path towards a society that’s better for us and the planet. Inequality drives status insecurity, which fuels the consumerism that is destroying our planet. But the things we buy aren’t making us any happier: the link between economic development and real improvements in quality of life is broken in rich societies. For real improvements in wellbeing, we need a more equal society, which is best achieved by putting democracy at the heart of the economy. Indeed, the authors see the extension of democracy into economic institutions as the next major step in the long project of human emancipation.
In November 2012 the Education for Sustainable Well-being Research Group at the University of Manitoba organized its first conference, entitled “Educating for Sustainable Well-being: Concepts, issues, perspectives, and practices”. Following the conference participants were invited to develolp their presentations into papers and submit those for consideration for inclusion in an e-book on the theme of the conference. The present book is the result of this process.
Sustainable development has figured prominently on the international agenda for more than a quarter of a century. People talk earnestly of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of development. Yet we continue to build up the economic component, at considerable cost to the environmental one. We risk undermining social and economic gains by failing to appreciate our fundamental dependency on ecological systems. Social and economic sustainability are only possible with a healthy planet. Ecosystems sustain societies that create economies. It does not work any other way round. But although human beings are a product of the natural world, we have become the dominant force that shapes ecological and biophysical systems. In doing so, we are not only threatening our health, prosperity and well-being, but our very future. This tenth edition of the Living Planet Report® reveals the effects of the pressures we are placing on the planet. It explores the implications for society. And it underlines the importance of the choices we make and the steps we take to ensure this living planet can continue to sustain us all, now and for generations to come.
A summary of permaculture concept and principles taken from Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren. It contains an introduction to permaculture, thoughts about the future of the movement and the values and use of the permaculture principles.
Totnes and District is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, along with the rest of the country. Climate change impacts and rising energy costs are further signs that the assumptions underpinning our current economic system need urgent review. Here we have an unusually independent economy. Rather than sacrifice that by pursuing growth at any cost, here we suggest that protecting and enhancing this economy is where our future lies. But how will this provide the jobs we all need to survive? This report identifies a multi-million pound opportunity to create new jobs, grow new enterprises and help existing businesses to thrive. It’s people-based, community-led, sustainable economic development that provides new livelihoods. At the same time, it helps ensure we can feed ourselves, minimise our fuel bills and carbon emissions,provide safer refuge for our savings and pensions and take care of those most in need. This work brings together a coalition of local stakeholder organisations, anchored here in our community, to develop an economic approach designed specifically for Totnes and District (T&D), and shows that we can unite to deliver real change.
The UK food system today faces three major challenges: we need to ensure food security, domestically and globally; our production and consumption of food must be environmentally sustainable; and our food policy must promote public health. Only a socially just food system can meet these challenges, but considerations of fairness are largely peripheral to food policy debate, which instead tends to focus on economic and environmental issues. This report presents the findings of the Food Ethics Council’s Food and Fairness Inquiry, which was set up in order to remedy the relative neglect of social justice in public debate about food policy. It reveals the extent of social injustice in the food system within the UK and at global level, and demonstrates how this unfairness impedes progress towards sustainable food and farming. The problems are several and profound – but the evidence presented to the Inquiry also points the way forward, towards a sustainable, healthy, and fair food system. The report maps out this future trajectory for food policy, and identifies the respective responsibilities of UK government, businesses and civil society.
This report provides an overview of this programme. The aim is to explore the intersection of community level initiatives and the development of a sustainable economy. In particular, it was believed that Scotland has developed some of the principles and practices of community based ownership of resources over the recent and distant past, and that this legacy could provide a model for how a more equitable, resilient, low carbon economy could be achieved in the future. Even if such an economy does not emerge, communities need to be strengthened so that they can support the needs of their members, especially if the contribution of governments is diminished. Whilst the Programme explored issues within Scotland in particular, many of the findings are also broadly relevant for other countries, and we drew on international examples as required. The goals of this Programme were to explore and design models for community resourcing, identify barriers for effective action in this area and highlight opportunities for future action. The planned output was the development of practical recommendations for the short, medium and long term, building on the combined knowledge of programme participants. The programme sought these goals through a series of interlinked seminars and also developed relationships between academics, practitioners and policy makers who are involved in various ways in this intellectual and practical space.
Welcome to the UK’s top twenty “Transition oriented” social enterprises. Combined these enterprises have a turnover of £3.5 million and provide paid employment for more than 100 people. We think they’re rather brilliant examples of people just doing stuff. Each of these enterprises demonstrates a different way of working from business as usual – they are sustainable, offer some social benefits and have shared ownership, while providing essential goods and services for the community in which they make their home. They provide jobs for local people, as well as volunteering opportunities, and they buy from other local independent business. Most have emerged from a local Transition group or have links to Transition in some way.
Lecture at Harvard University on Great Transition core concepts by GTI Director Paul Raskin. The Great Transition Initiative is an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, strategies, and visions for a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and a resilient biosphere.
The world’s agricultural system faces a great balancing act. To meet different human needs, by 2050 it must simultaneously produce far more food for a population expected to reach about 9.6 billion, provide economic opportunities for the hundreds of millions of rural poor who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, and reduce environmental impacts, including ecosystem degradation and high greenhouse gas emissions. The forthcoming 2013-14 World Resources Report responds to this challenge with a menu of solutions that could achieve this balance. This report provides an initial analysis of the scope of the challenge and the technical prospects of different menu items.
This report explores the pressures on the global food system between now and 2050. It identifies the decisions that policy makers need to take today, and in the years ahead, to ensure that a global population rising to 9 billion or more can be fed in a fair and sustainable way. The Project has identified and analysed five key challenges for the future. Addressing these in a pragmatic way that promotes resilience to shocks and future uncertainties will be vital if major stresses to the food system are to be anticipated and managed. The five challengesare: A. Balancing future demand and supply sustainably – to ensure that food supplies are affordable. B. Ensuring that there is adequate stability in food supplies – and protecting the most vulnerable from the volatility that does occur. C. Achieving global access to food and ending hunger. This recognises that producing enough food in the world so that everyone can potentially be fed is not the same thing as ensuring food security for all D. Managing the contribution of the food system to the mitigation of climate change. E. Maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services while feeding the world. These last two challenges recognise that food production already dominates much of the global land surface and water bodies, and has a major impact on all the Earth’s environmental systems.
The kingdom of Bhutan is honoured to offer this report as a contribution to the growing global conversation on a transformative post-2015 development agenda. The report is inspired by Bhutan’s development approach based on the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and proposes a New Development Paradigm with societal happiness as its guiding vision. Such a holistic view of development has the potential to transform humanity’s relationship with nature, restructure our economies, change our attitudes to food and wealth, and promote caring, altruism, inclusiveness and cooperation. In the new paradigm, genuine happiness is understood to arise from a deep abiding sense of harmony with the natural world, of compassion, contentment and joy. It also acknowledges that basic needs like clean air and water, good health, decent living conditions, knowledge, peace, security and justice, meaningful relationships and other dimensions of wellbeing are essential preconditions for human beings to flourish and achieve true happiness. The new development framework presented is not intended to be dogmatic or static. Rather, Bhutan wished to contribute to the search for a genuinely different paradigm – a process that will require exploration of unorthodox approaches that challenge the fundamentals of the current paradigm in search of a better way to live and flourish on our planet. This new paradigm is envisioned to emerge and evolve through a dynamic process of global conversation, participation and constant feedback.
Adapting to the profound effects of climate change, lifting one billion starving people out of hunger, addressing the escalating obesity crisis – these are just three of the many formidable economic, social and environmental challenges confronting the food system. One thing is clear: if society is going to successfully meet these challenges, something has to change – ‘business as usual is not an option’. This assessment – a key message from the 2010 report Food Justice – has gained widespread, cross-sectoral endorsement in recent years. To date, however, this growing consensus has not been translated into the transformative policy and practice that is urgently required. What, exactly, does getting beyond business as usual mean in practical terms? That is the question the Food Ethics Council’s Beyond Business As Usual project has sought to answer.
The coming decades will throw up huge challenges and extraordinary uncertainty. As the world becomes increasingly inter-connected, we’ll cross thresholds in environmental, social and economic systems. Unforeseen events, so-called black swans, will happen. We do know the world population will grow, food production will be challenged, and the supply of some resources will struggle to keep up with demand. But opportunities are bound to emerge from these challenges. If we seize the opportunities we could produce a much more stable, equal and healthy society by 2050. We could provide well-being for everyone and for our planet.
A 90 minute film directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot. Can we imagine a film that would change the way people look at the ocean? Can we explain simply, to everyone, the greatest natural mystery of our planet? And lastly, can we help our children believe in a better and more sustainable world tomorrow? This is the triple challenge of a new cinema adventure signed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and editor- in-chief Michael Pitiot, who brings with him the scientific missions of TARA, a unique pool of researchers, oceanographers and biologists from several countries. Thanks to its astonishing photography, the film takes us on a magnificent and unprecedented journey into the heart of the least known regions of our planet. The film narrates the most marvelous and also the most terrifying human experiences of our time. Filmed in extreme geographical conditions all over the glove, it describes the modern Odyssey of people who go out to discover their blue planet. The film is also a plea for humanity to respect the world in which we live. It serves a noble and universal cause.
Directed by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and narrated by Glenn Close, HOME takes you on a visually stunning, spectacular voyage around the world. It is a unique film that approaches the current debate about climate change from a whole new angle, giving viewers the opportunity to see for themselves how our earth is changing. Going well beyond the scientific reports, charts and graphs, this film is an inspiration that speaks to our hearts and touches our souls. Spanning 54 countries and 120 locations, all seen from the air, the film captures the Earth’s most amazing landscapes, showcasing its incomparable beauty and acknowledging its vulnerability. HOME is a compelling emotional reminder of what is at stake: the Earth, in all its beauty, and the people who live on it. HOME is the first major film about climate change that has been made using only aerial photography. The film marks artist and activist, Yann Arthus-Betrand’s feature film directorial debut.
The paper begins by highlighting the rationale for focusing on the diets question, and then moves on to discuss definitions of ‘good nutrition’ on the one hand, and ‘sustainability’ on the other. The main substance of the paper concerns itself with the major food groups that constitute UK’s Eatwell plate, examining the health and sustainability issues that their consumption raises, before drawing some conclusions. A review of recent studies in this area is also included. An important limitation of the paper is that it focuses largely on developed country contexts.
The Story of Solutions explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal. In the current 'Game of More', we're told to cheer a growing economy -- more roads, more malls, more Stuff! -- even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting. But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn't more, but better -- better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet? Shouldn't that be what winning means?
Our economy is geared, above all, to achieving growth. In times of recession especially, economic policy is all about returning to growth. But a financial crisis can also be an opportunity for some basic rethinking about what the economy is for, and how through some fundamental restructuring of our financial system we can safeguard our economic stability in the future, as well as achieving wider social and environmental benefits. In recent years, other objectives such as sustainability and wellbeing have moved up the political agenda. Over two years, the SDC's Redefining Prosperity project looked into the connections and conflicts between sustainability, wellbeing and growth. Following a series of seminars and commissioned think pieces, we published the report Prosperity without Growth? The transition to a low carbon economy, written by Professor Tim Jackson, the SDC's Economics Commissioner. Prosperity without Growth? analyses the complex relationships between growth, environmental crises and social recession. In the last quarter of a century, as the global economy has doubled in size, increases in consumption have caused the degradation of an estimated 60% of the world's ecosystems. The benefits of growth have been distributed unevenly, with a fifth of the world's population sharing just 2% of global income. Even in developed countries, huge gaps in wealth and well-being remain between rich and poor. Our report proposes a twelve step route to a sustainable economy, and argues for a redefinition of "prosperity" in light of our evidence on what really contributes to people’s wellbeing.
Seismic events have convulsed global markets since 2008, when From Poverty to Power was first published. World news has been full of stories reflecting a profound sense of uncertainty about global futures. In response, this new edition of From Poverty to Power has been fully revised and now includes an in-depth analysis of the human impact of the global financial and food crises. From Poverty to Power, 2nd Edition argues that a radical redistribution of power, opportunities, and assets, rather than traditional models of charitable or government aid, is required to break the cycle of poverty and inequality. Active citizens and effective states are driving this transformation. Why active citizens? Because people living in poverty must have a voice in deciding their own destiny and holding the state and the private sector to account. Why effective states? Because history shows that no country has prospered without a state structure that can actively manage the development process. There is now an added urgency: climate change. We need to build a secure, fair, and sustainable world within the limits set by scarce resources and ecological realities. The book is accompanied by a list of blog resources. The From Poverty to Power blog played a key role in shaping the second edition of the book. Selected posts have now been indexed thematically to create an effective list of background material that can be read alongside the book.
This publication presents the discussions during the UNESCO Future Lecture on the theme “Towards a Sufficiency Economy: A new Ethical Paradigm for Sustainability held on 11 June 2012.
Planning sustainable cities for community food growing, a guide to using planning policy to meet strategic objectives through community food growing, is published today by Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming. The guide brings together, for the first time in one place, examples of planning policies around the UK that support community food growing and inspiring examples of local community gardens. It is aimed primarily at planning authorities to help them use food growing as a way of improving people’s health and mental wellbeing, transforming derelict sites and creating green spaces for people and wildlife to thrive. It follows the government’s recent Planning Practice Guidance for the National Planning Policy Framework in England, which requires planners to support the provision of space for food growing as part of building a healthy community - a principle that is relevant across the whole of the UK. Dr Hugh Ellis, Town and Country Planning Association, who wrote the foreword for the report, said: “Truly sustainable development can deliver multiple benefits such as social housing, zero carbon design, sustainable transport and local food sourcing, and this report puts community food growing into this mix, showing how more planning authorities could easily be following suit and making this standard practice in their plan making and decision taking.” The report highlights the range of strategic objectives that community food growing contributes to and illustrates this with examples of planning policies and decisions, and projects, to show why and how to provide more food growing spaces.
These guidelines are to give pioneer companies some orientation for drawing up the Common Good Report (CGR). For a meaningful report we need two to three sentences per sub-indicator with corresponding parameters. Some of the overviews were inserted in table form; they help to give the reader a good overview of the Common Good Report. Many companies do a lot for the common good. The CG Report must conform to the principle of written form to facilitate its assessment. This means that all actions must be recorded in the report. The task is to consciously write down, document and communicate what is taken for granted within the company. This will make it possible for the CG Report to convey a comprehensive picture of the company and contribute a lot to the company’s own self-awareness.
This discussion paper is an attempt to lay out a path toward a more sustainable society. It introduces several principles of sustainable well-being that meet the key sustainability challenges of advanced societies. Taken together, these principles form a vision of a sustainable well-being society. In addition, the paper analyzes the changing role of government in the transition towards sustainability.
This report explores the complex issues hidden behind two simple questions: what is progress and what is prosperity? It argues that GDP is an insufficient and misleading measure of whether life in Scotland is improving or not. The report takes the findings of the 2009 Stiglitz Report, which emerged from the Commission set up by President Sarkozy to advise on how better to measure economic performance and social progress. It recommends that the new Scottish Government applies these to creating a performance framework better able to deliver, measure and report on economic performance, quality of life, sustainability and well-being. The report also shows that over-reliance on GDP as a measure makes it difficult for politicians to back policies that are good for society or the environment if they might hamper an increase in GDP.
Our new study The Power of Purchasing, completed in cooperation with the Columbia Institute and ISIS at the Sauder School of Business, shows that sourcing from local suppliers has a big economic impact. The study is the first of its kind in Canada. It found that purchasing goods from locally-based suppliers creates nearly twice as much benefit to the local economy as buying from multinational chains. In British Columbia, local governments and school districts alone spend more than $6.7 billion annually on goods and services. This purchasing can be used to reinforce economic development and support strong communities when some of that money is spent with local suppliers. Using office supplies as an example, the study found that Mills Basics, a locally owned B.C. office supply company, re-circulates 33% of their revenue directly to residents and businesses in B.C., compared to 17% and 19% for their multinational counterparts. This presents a 77%-100% economic advantage for B.C. from buying local, and an 80%-100% increase in jobs per million dollars spent. The increase in recirculation is attributed to greater employment on the part of the local company compared to multinationals
There are many opportunities for organizations to benefit themselves, as well as the economies that sustain them, by making minor adjustments to the way that they purchase goods and services. This report outlines strategies and paths that policy-makers, sustainability managers, procurement professionals and others involved in institutional purchasing decisions can pursue to realize this potential. Around the world, there is a growing movement to support local economies, and various approaches are being taken in different places. Great benefits come from strong, resilient local economies, and many opportunities exist to take small steps that can majorly benefit our public institutions, businesses and communities. If purchasers are ready to take on leadership roles, the tools and solutions detailed here are effective ways to expand local purchasing and strengthen our communities. Part I outlines the argument for local procurement. It demonstrates the power that institutional procurement has over the economy and highlights opportunities for change by examining the current landscape in Canada, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. It details how local economic impacts fit within the definition of value when attempting to achieve best value inprocurement. Part II and III identify tools that can be used by institutions and policy-makers to increase local procurement. They outline a number of challenges, and details solutions that are currently being used. Examples of the tools have been included along with references to material for further research.
Resilience is often understood simply as the ability to “bounce back” from a single disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. This survey commissioned by Post Carbon Institute found that leading US municipalities already have a much more sophisticated understanding of resilience involving economic, energy, and social challenges—and they're putting it into action through policies, regulations, and programs.
We are entering the current critical historical juncture with the encouraging finding of peoples’ resistance and proposals. The ancient cultures of the various peoples of Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Latin America have constantly challenged, in practice and in theory, the conceptions of the allegedly linear and upward historical course of development of humankind characteristic of Eurocentric, and then North American modernity, which had condemned them, as outdated remains of the archaic and as survival of the backward, to inexorable improvement or extinction. In this paradox of what is supposedly archaic and backward in theory but emerges empirically with stubborn novelty and validity, there is at stake part of humankind’s current need to design new forms of knowledge and understanding that can question the pillars of hegemonic civilization, now in crisis, and make it possible to deconstruct and surmount them. This crisis, multiple and comprehensive, is generating objective material conditions that make it possible to see as current and pressing the alternative knowledge of other cultures that had emerged in parallel, separate, and distinct forms, and that had become highly developed. Although there existed in them relations of domination and conflict, they were of a very different nature from those of Western Europe and the United States, and these were secondary to social-regulation principles that combined social and environmental justice in support of harmony and balance in the world and the cosmos.