We intend to create a national debate over the coming months: what are the most effective actions that we can all take in this Action Area? Together with our Ambassadors, we will then synthesize and distil the most credible and popular ideas into the core 999 Manisfesto, mobilizing as many people as possible to get involved. To start the ball rolling, 999 It's Time founder Rory Spowers has presented some of his own ideas below.
"As someone once said, 'You can always build an economy out of an ecology, but you can never build an ecology out of an economy.' Although we all know this to be true, we conveniently overlook it and continue to run an economic system that excludes all social and environmental impacts from our calculations. We are very good at putting a price on things, but ignore the real cost, still living under the illusion that infinite growth is possible on a planet with finite resources. As the novelist Edward Abbey once said, 'growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of a cancer cell.' Herman Daly, one of the first eco-economists, first made the important distinction between 'growth' and 'development'. A growing economy is only getting bigger - a developing economy is getting better.
If a truly sustainable society is ever to emerge, we have to integrate these principles within our economics. Otherwise we will continue to use obsolete indicators to measure our prosperity and quality of life. What good is GDP if it increases with each hospital bill, car accident, insurance claim and environmental disaster? Why do we tax what is supposed to be good for us, like jobs, capital and income, and not what is bad for us, like pollution and resource depletion?
The good news is that new economic thinking is highly evolved and the mechanisms are all there to be implemented. Look at the work of Paul Hawken in the US, or the New Economics Foundation in the UK. At the same time, the proliferation and popularity of fair trade initiatives, or local economic mechanisms like alternative currencies that allow us to unplug from the corporate global casino. As the old economic paradigm crumbles around us, surely we need to embrace these new models more than ever before?"
Respond now by adding your views to this page (see the comment link below - you need to login first), by visiting our discussion board on Facebook, or by send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Economics in the subject line.
Watch Rory's "Walking the Heart of Britain" Vlog here
Watch Misty's "Beggin' The G-20" video here