A MANIFESTO FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY

This draft manifesto has been compiled from the inputs of young people, scientists, industry leaders and other passionate thinkers and advocates of a more sustainable economy. The sections have been coordinated (but are not the sole responsibility of) the contact people mentioned. Our Impulses are linked after each section. Please contact Mario Stepanik to share your thoughts and contributions.

OVERVIEW

INTRODUCTION

The roots of our economic system are rotten. At no moment in recorded history have we been confronted with more alarming environmental, social, and political threats which haunt every community and permeate every part of our planet.

We see the origins of this status quo in an ideology which has shaped how we organize our relationship to other human beings and to our natural environment. This ideology is rooted in the blind and never-ending pursuit of economic growth.

Economic growth has allowed unprecedented material wealth. The beneficiaries have primarily been those in the Global North: through heedless extraction of natural resources and the use of unforeseen amounts of energy, we have created a way of living which our planet was never able to sustain. The lives of the rich have become too comfortable to change direction.

The price has been paid by exploiting our natural environment. The linear model of our economy we operate on does not capture planetary resource constraints. Our indicators of economic growth incentivize this exploitation, which has led to the violation of these constraints. We risk destabilizing our biosphere, which we all rely on, irrevocably.

In the process of establishing the prevailing economic order, an ever-widening divide between the rich and the poor has emerged. Economic inequality is a fundamental property of capitalism, embedded in the workings of our monetary system which perpetuates our social order. Laypeople do not understand the mechanisms guiding the system, but its social consequences are increasingly difficult to ignore. People do not only care about how much they have, but also about how much less they have than others.

The chasm between those holding financial resources and those who do not has also shaken the foundations of our political systems. The concept of democracy as a society of equals has been corrupted, and the integrity of our public officials undermined, by the economically powerful. Our capitalist economic order is gradually transformed into a feudalistic one.

Since the roots of these threats are so largely ideological, their remedy ought to be a new kind of ideology. We believe in deriving such an ideology not from dogma, however, but through honest and humble discourse within the bounds of evidence. The result of this process is the present manifesto, in which we advocate for a circular economic system which respects our planet’s boundaries, for competitive markets in its pursuit, and for a neutral monetary system incentivizing modesty over profusion.

 

PLANETARY BOUNDARIES

Contact Person: Alexander Tinti

Our present economic system is focused on the maximization of production while optimizing efficiency in the process. Negative effects associated with production or consumption are viewed as “market failures,” which are merely deviations from perfect efficiency. The systemic consequences of extracting large amounts of resources from our planet and discarding the end products at a large scale are sidelined.

Planetary boundaries must take a central role in a novel conception of our economy. Economic activity cannot reasonably be seen as “efficient” if its end result is the destabilization of our biosphere. We build on the groundbreaking work of the scientist Johan Rockström and colleagues, who identified nine planetary boundaries which determine the safe operating space for humanity. All economic activity on our planet must be conducted with utmost respect for these boundaries, and their violation must be prohibited at any cost.

At the moment, most economic activity takes place with no consideration for its effect on planetary boundaries. The sourcing of raw materials, the design of products, the production process and the ultimate disposal of goods depend only on immediate profit incentives. This leads to a cradle-to-grave mode of production: we produce, we use, and we throw away.

An economic system respecting planetary boundaries, in contrast, must follow a cradle-to-cradle mode of production: we produce, we use, and we recycle. The cradle-to-cradle concept developed by the chemist Michael Braungart and the designer William McDonough must serve as the guiding framework: it proposes that all production must take place in either a biological cycle, within which every product is designed for complete, natural decomposition, or a technological cycle, within which every product can be fully disassembled and the materials be reused.

New legislation is required to ensure that firms operate within this framework. Once it is firmly established, we believe that the forces of a competitive market do indeed allow for the most efficient use of scarce resources.

 

What Impulses do we propose?

Impuls 5

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EUROPEAN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS MUST STOP RELYING ON GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) IN DECISION MAKING

European public institutions must stop relying on gross domestic product (GDP) in decision making. In order to facilitate moving away from GDP, the following steps

KONTAKT:

NAME: Dominik Stelzig
E-Mail: hallo@vomdom.at
Tel: 73846092
Social Media: @xyz

KONTAKT:

NAME: Dominik Stelzig
E-Mail: hallo@vomdom.at
Tel: 73846092
Social Media: @xyz

KONTAKT:

NAME: Dominik Stelzig
E-Mail: hallo@vomdom.at
Tel: 73846092
Social Media: @xyz

KONTAKT:

NAME: Dominik Stelzig
E-Mail: hallo@vomdom.at
Tel: 73846092
Social Media: @xyz

KONTAKT:

NAME: Dominik Stelzig
E-Mail: hallo@vomdom.at
Tel: 73846092
Social Media: @xyz

BACKGROUND

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod
invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.