Between 11 – 13th of May, junior researcher Koen Dekeyser was invited to debate the alternatives to economic growth at the 46th St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. The St Gallen Symposium is a yearly meeting of young academics, entrepreneurs, market and political leaders. Around 100 young academics were selected on about 900 essays, in which Koen got invited with his writing titled ‘Cooperation outcompetes competition’. During the three days, the current social and ecological impacts of growth, both the good and the bad, were debated together with the future direction of economic growth/degrowth. Speakers included Dambisa Moyo and Tim Jackson, amongst others.
by Lorenzo Fioramonti, GovInn director
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”
Book Launch: ‘Working with the grain – integrating governance and growth in development strategies’ by Prof. Brian Levy
The Rethinking Development Seminar Series is a joint initiative of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, the Human Economy Programme and the Postgraduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development.
About the book: Good governance has failed as a prescription for addressing development challenges. This book proposes an innovative ‘with-the-grain’ alternative as a constructive, hopeful way of engaging the challenging governance ambiguities of our early 21st century world.
About the author: Brian Levy is currently involved in the faculties of the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Cape Town.
He has a sustained track record of both thought leadership and hands-on experience. At theWorld Bank, where he worked for more than two decades, he led the programme to increase support for public-sector reform in Africa, and subsequently co-led the effort to mainstream governance and anti-corruption into the organisation’s operational programmes.
Prof. Levy has published widely on the interactions between institutions, political economy and development policy.
He obtained his PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 1983.
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
American author and de-growth activist Charles Eisenstein visited GovInn in August 2014. Eisenstein is known worldwide for his original writing and his criticism of the monetary system and of the patenting of seeds.