Growth with development means in Kate Raworth’s terms finding a sustainable dynamic balance which allows humanity to thrive in that just and safe space between environmental and social boundaries.
The Doughnut shows how important the social foundation is in relation to the ecological boundaries. Kate Raworth is one of the first economists, being mainstream, which captures attention challenging the economic statusquo and what’s more providing a feasible realistic picture and model which can finally replace the outdated model of GDP Growth as the goal of any economy.
Change the goal is one of the seven ways to think like a 21st century economists, a book that is worth to read for anyone wanting to envision a different system and for anyone wanting to understand much of the intrinsic causes that led our economies and societies to behave in the way they do.
Indeed, another very valuable point that Kate Raworth challenges is the so-called homo oeconomicus, this rational self-maximizing being that all of us are supposed to be which does not consider our social character, our interdependency and co-operation and our fluid and not fixed preferences. We are influenced and affected by the social structures in which we live in, be them institutions or social norms through which we continuously interact. What happened is that all of us, Zoon Politkon assumed to be Homo-Oeconomicus, we became one as such.
Amartya Sen - winner of the Nobel Prize, formulated the Human Development Index ... the failure of GDP to measure a country’s well-being and its population living standards
Kate Raworth is leading the path to restore a healthy picture of who we truly are, social beings with much more characteristics than merely self-interest and with higher desires in life that to simply maximize our utility which sees as the only constraint, a budget constraint. Amartya Sen, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1998 questioned the view of homo oeconomicus, as purely self-interested actors and formulated the Human Development Index, because of the failure of GDP to measure a country’s well-being and its population living standards. Economic development is the sustainable increase in living standards for a country, typically characterized by increases in life span, education levels and income.
We need to start redesigning a new political system which is led by facts. The technologies of today allow for vast amounts of data to be gathered at practically no cost. Politics is becoming less and less transparent and many of the most important decisions, such as investments in mining activities, food and trade policies, are a factor of untransparent governments, and in many cases citizens are have a hard time feeling supported as they are left feeling that their right to choose has been taken away.
Applications of technologies such as blockchain to the political system could democratise a system which is not democratic and could allow citizens to present their needs and solutions in a transparent way through the use of apps or websites. Giving the opportunity to citizens to directly ask questions would enforce the social contract as it would increase participation while carrying the capacity to really stimulate new insights that politicians may have been too blind to see.
New ways of thinking are taking foot to replace the outdated ones. Biomimicry is the imitation of the models, systems and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human life. Ecosystem thinking is at the base of the success of the recent technological developments such as decentralized blockchain, the IoT and cloud computing. Permaculture develops twelve principles which rotate around three key areas: fair share, earth care, people care. In my opinion, these are the ethos of sustainability and resonate with the known triple bottom line approach in business vocabulary.
As we have lost the connection with nature and our biological origin, we have also lost the connection with our souls and our spirituality which is demonstrated by the growing trends and the visible benefits on human well-being in practicing yoga, mindfulness, sports and being outside. Until now most generations have been sucked into the belief and idea that work is a duty and not a pleasure, that the reasons to work were strictly economical and ones of survival.
...we are not rational, self-maximiser economic beings but we have higher purposes and desires in our life than merely financial ones
Today a stronger desire to find one’s purpose, to seek the right path and to follow its own aspirations brings humans not only closer to themselves but also to nature, increasing that attentiveness and care for the planet. It also brings us one step closer to the realization that we are not rational, self-maximiser economic beings but we have higher purposes and desires in our life than merely financial ones.
A new consciousness is developing, and a new consciousness needs a new language which does not depict one as the winner and one as the loser, one as the rich and one as the poor as that installs a mentality of wanting that poor to continue to lose so that the rich can continue to win. This new language is being developed through models and concepts such as the Doughnut in economics which is an essential building block for change as economics is lastly the mindset that shapes society.
This language is spoken with words of non-violence, is spoken with words that come from the awareness and consciousness of the being within nature and of the wholeness of humanity. The oneness and the detachment from nature have brought us on this path which now shows to be lethal for nature and for all of its species, including us.