Posts

Cape Town Book Launch: “The World after GDP”

 

You are invited to join us on 11 May 2017 at 18:00 for the Cape Town launch of GovInn director Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti‘s latest book, “The world after GDP”. The launch will take place at 129 Rochester Road, Observatory.

Network of Wellbeing

Wellbeing & GDP

Lorenzo Fioramonti, director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, gave a lecture on wellbeing & GDP in Totnes, UK, to the Network of Wellbeing.

 

Lorenzo Fioramonti speaking in Austria about political alternatives to a GDP-focused world

VIDEO: Beyond GDP and political alternatives

Watch GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti speaking about political alternatives to a GDP-focused world at an event hosted by Impulszentrum Zukunftsfähiges Wirtschaften on 9 October 2015, in Graz, Austria.

Growth without wellbeing brings no lasting progress, Business Day 06.10.2015

by Lorenzo Fioramonti, GovInn director

Lorenzo Fioramonti

Lorenzo Fioramonti

THE world economic outlook is pretty grim. Not only have we not come out of the 2008 crisis, but the deceleration of the Chinese “powerhouse” is now threatening to sink the global economy into a prolonged double-dip recession that may last for decades.

The Chinese debacle, just like the one in the US that started the global downturn, has been caused by the obsession with economic growth. Both bubbles overheated in the decades preceding the burst, fuelled by huge spending through the accumulation of debt. This madness was celebrated by mainstream economists, analysts, global institutions and influential media as a sign of progress: it was the golden age of growth.

It was a fake and some of us have been saying that all along. Not only did the global economy accumulate unprecedented debt, but it did so at a huge cost to society and the environment. The social debt is evident in the rise of inequality globally and within countries. Extreme inequality in the US is well documented and China is catching up. The most recent surveys of income distribution indicate that China is among the most unequal societies in the world. Moreover, the Chinese leadership fears that the social debt will soon trigger unrest.

Read the full article on Business Day: “Growth without wellbeing brings no lasting progress”

Global Wellbeing Lab in Bhutan

GovInn’s director, Prof. Fioramonti, participated in a meeting of the Global Wellbeing Lab that took place in Bhutan from 8 to 17 May, 2015. As part of the programme, he met with the directors of the Gross National Happiness Centre, local civil society groups and political leaders. In this picture, Prof. Fioramonti is with Bhutanese former prime minister Jigme Yoser Thinley.

Bhutan prime minister

Gross Domestic Problem on Italian TV

Lorenzo Fioramonti, GovInn director, interviewed by Sky TV in Italy on his film Gross Domestic Fraud (Presi per il PIL), which won the 2015 edition of the French film Festival de Recherche et Development Durable in Toulouse

“Gross Domestic Problem” wins UP Book of the Year Award

On 24 April the book Gross Domestic Problem: The Politics Behind the World’s Most Powerful Number by GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti received the UP Book of the Year Award at the annual ceremony of the University of Pretoria. The award was conferred by the university’s Vice Chancellor and Principal Prof. Cheryl De La Rey and received by GovInn deputy director, as Prof. Fioramonti was overseas for research.

Fioramonti, Lorenzo (with GDPbook 6)

Read more on the UP website: 2015 Academic Achievers Awards

 

Beyond GDP documentary wins the Jury Prize at FReDD film festival

“Presi per il PIL”, a documentary by Stefano Cavallotto, Andrea Bertaglio and Lorenzo Fioramonti won the Jury Prize at the FReDD Film festival in Toulouse, France. The FReDD (Film, Recherche et Developpement Durable) selects the most interesting productions on sustainable development. “Presi per il PIL” won thanks to its positive approach:

The Jury wished to honour a positive movie, which brings solutions to the energy issues. The director met with  emerging realities and groups who work to reconstruct society while disregarding GDP. GDP is the parameter of a destructive growth: Growth leads to individualism while de-growth leads to sharing.”

Watch the trailer here:

Read the news on FReDD website (French) 

Lorenzo at the Global Wellbeing Lab 2.0

Strategies for sustainable wellbeing: Lorenzo Fioramonti at the Global Wellbeing Lab 2.0

The Global Wellbeing Lab 2.0 officially kicked off with a two day workshop in Berlin (Germany) in early February 2015. The Lab aims to shift institutions beyond the pursuit of narrowly measured parameters of economic progress (such as growth) to broader aims that translate into sustainable wellbeing for our societies.

GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti  was among the 25 innovators invited to the Lab from all over the world. He had the opportunity to discover new ways of looking at leadership, sustainable development and wellbeing, as he tells us in this interview.

Lorenzo at the Global Wellbeing Lab 2.0

Lorenzo Fioramonti speaking at one of the sessions of the Global Wellbeing Lab 2.0, Berlin 2015

 

What is the Global Wellbeing Lab 2.0?

Lorenzo Fioramonti: These Labs are an initiative of the Global Leadership Academy, a programme funded by the German government to convene “thought leaders” and innovators from all walks of life and from all over the world to discuss, network and share ideas about promoting change at the global scale. In particular, the Wellbeing Lab focuses on new approaches to economic progress and what type of cultural, social and political change we need to build a different economy. It is led by Prof. Otto Scharmer, from the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) and world renowned for his Theory U, and co-hosted by the Presencing Institute in Boston (USA) and the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan.

What happened in Berlin?

The Berlin kick-off event was a very enriching gathering of extremely motivated individuals, from very different backgrounds. There were young innovators from the Silicon Valley, like Nipun Metha, who gave a very inspiring TED Talk on the economy of generosity watched by tens of thousands of viewers. We had the first lady of the State of Oregon, Cylvia Hayes, who is a dedicated environmentalist and has led the introduction of the Genuine Progress Indicator in Oregon.  There was also my friend Katherine Trebeck from Oxfam, who has developed the Humankind Index (another great Ted Talk to watch).
We had managers from the clothing giant Eileen Fisher and Google’s sale manager, Alfred Tolle. We then had representatives of various governments, from Costa Rica to Brazil, USA, Vietnam and the UK. From South Africa, I was joined by Louise Van Rhyn of Symphonia and Mary Jane Morifi from the Nelson Mandela Children Hospital Trust.

We were invited to spend a few days, in almost complete isolation, in the beautiful ecological resort of Landgut A. Borsig, one of the hallmarks of the civil resistance against Hitler. It was a great opportunity to share ideas on how to foster a well-being based economic transition for our countries.

Lorenzo Fioramonti from Presencing Institute on Vimeo.

How does the Lab work?

LF: This first meeting gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better. Indeed, the Lab will continue for 2 years and will become a ‘journey’ taking us to different locations around the world. It’s designed as a space for reflection, but also as an incubator for action. It is based on the Theory U approach, which shows how collective change is ultimately the outcome of a journey. This journey includes personal change as well as continuous interaction with likeminded individuals from different cultural backgrounds. We all share a conviction that the current economic system is not delivering on wellbeing, but the journey will help us identify a common ground on how to make the change happen in practice. Academics, business leaders, government officials and civic activists are all brought together to shape this intellectual and personal journey over the course of the next two years.

What is happening next?

LF: We will start scanning interesting social innovations in South Africa and then bring them back into our global debate. We will also need to identify ideas for change that could become prototypes for action. In May we will then meet again in Bhutan, where we have been officially invited by the government. After that, the journey will take us to other destinations. In the end, the initiative aims to build a strong network of leaders and innovators with a set of shared practical ideas to change the world!

Lise Pretorius

Lise Pretorius

Lise Pretorius planting a tree in Bhutan

Associate Fellow

Bio

Lise Pretorius joined GovInn as an associate fellow in January 2015 and is involved with the centre’s work on new economic governance.  As an environmental economist by training (but an ecological economist at heart) Lise is interested in the role of investment in creating systemic change, as well as the potential for “beyond GDP” measures of progress to create an economic model more capable of dealing with 21st century challenges.

Lise’s has worked on a variety of projects around the topic of sustainable investment in South Africa and the UK.   She was also previously a senior writer (energy and sustainability) at the Financial Mail, and was awarded the South African National Energy Association journalism award in 2012 for advancing the understanding of energy issues in South Africa.

Lise obtained her BComm Honours degree in economics from the University of Cape Town and her MSc in Environmental Economics from the London School of Economics.   She recently spent six months working for WWF in Bhutan, a trip inspired by an interest in Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness – an example of Beyond GDP in practice.

Lise is passionate about people, traveling, and mountains, and is slowly becoming more knowledgeable about good wine.

 

Links

TedX Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9DeLsqh1aY

Twitter : @lisenatalie

 

Research Interests