1.30-5pm [register 1pm]
University of London
Kicking capitalism's growth habit -
building a sustainable economy
The economy ‘must return to growth’ if the recession is to end. That’s the cry from politicians of all parties as well as mainstream economists.
But is that the only solution? Is more ‘growth’ the only way to create jobs and a decent standard of living? The short answer is ‘no’. There are alternatives. Capitalism’s relentless, in-built drive for continuous expansion is destructive in every sense.
It inevitably leads to its opposite – contraction – and with it the destruction of jobs, living standards, pensions and public services that we are seeing now.
And it’s destructive because profit-driven growth always comes before the sustainable use of resources. Insatiable growth has a direct connection to climate change and habitat loss.
So how can we kick the growth habit? What’s the alternative to profit as an incentive? How can we create a natural relationship with nature?
Can capitalism change its spots or is the crisis so deep that revolutionary solutions are the only way forward for humanity? How has Egypt shown us the way forward? How do we build People’s Assemblies?
Help to work out the answers. Discuss:
- Why Copenhagen and Cancun climate summits failed
- Regulation and/or a Green ‘New Deal’. Could they work?
- How capitalism alienates us from nature
- Learning from nature, science and indigenous cultures
- Composting capitalism: rescuing the earth’s ecosystems
- Beating the growth addiction
- How we can stop global corporations plundering resources and destroying eco-systems
- The Cochabamba initiative and building People’s Assemblies