Summary of A Healthy Economy Should Be Designed to Thrive, Not Grow

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A Healthy Economy Should Be Designed to Thrive, Not Grow summary
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Recommendation

Most economists and policy makers endorse the orthodoxy that a growing economy continues to benefit more people. But a booming global GDP has brought problems, says self-described “renegade economist” Kate Raworth, and more growth isn’t the solution. In a thought-provoking talk, she takes on the modern world’s obsession with growth and proposes an alternative framework for progress that will allow everyone to thrive. getAbstract recommends Raworth’s talk to policy makers, humanitarians and those who like testing conventional wisdom.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why equating growth with progress is misguided, and
  • How future economies can meet the dual challenge of socioeconomic progress and environmental preservation. 
 

About the Speaker

Kate Raworth is a senior visiting research associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and a senior associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

 

Summary

Society equates economic progress with growth. Babies pull themselves forward and then upward when learning to stand, so naturally people think of progress, including economic progress, as an “ever rising line of growth.” The preoccupation with growth originated in the 1930s with the invention of gross domestic product (GDP), an economy’s total value of goods and services sold yearly. Policy makers started to view growth as the solution to all economic shortcomings. W.W. Rostow’s 1960 classic The Stages of Economic Growth describes progressive stages of growth where the final stage is endless mass consumerism. Modern society has become “financially, politically and socially” addicted to growth, and the hefty pricetag is vast income inequality and environmental degradation. A mere fraction of the global 1% reap most rewards of the booming global GDP, and the economy is destabilizing the planet. Making growth more “inclusive, balanced” or “green” isn’t the solution to these problems. Rather, society must replace its growth paradigm – including the metric of money – and view progress differently.


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