New Economic Governance
The convergence of crises, from climate change to the Great Recession and rampant social and economic inequality, fundamentally questions our main economic paradigm based on growth in the gross domestic product (GDP). In order to tackle the current systemic crisis, we may indeed need to think creatively about the type of development we want to achieve in the 21st century. GDP is arguably the most well-known statistic in the contemporary world, and certainly amongst the most powerful. It drives government policy and sets priorities in a variety of vital social fields – from schooling to healthcare. Yet for perhaps the first time since it was invented in the 1930s, this popular icon of economic growth has come to be regarded by many as a ‘problem’. After all, does our quality of life really improve when our economy grows 2 or 3%? Can we continue to sacrifice the environment to safeguard a vision of the world based on the illusion of infinite economic growth? This research area includes our work in the field of ‘Beyond GDP’ governance as well as a series of pioneering projects in the field of wellbeing, community development, new business models and alternative currency systems.