Why is big business devoid of ‘purpose’? I would say it is because they tend to be disconnected from meaningful contexts; they are places of nowhere; they are system-oriented instead of relations-oriented; they are disembedded. Injecting abstract principles of purpose will not suddenly turn this around. If we want business to contribute to a better society and the greater good, I would like to suggest two lines of action.
The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All
“In The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All, Martin Sandbu seeks to address the extent to which many citizens of western democracies feel ‘left behind’ by recent economic changes, proposing a detailed plan for creating a just economy where everyone can belong. While finding this a highly readable and carefully argued book that offers a number of persuasive policy prescriptions, John Tomaney questions whether it provides a fully convincing programme for the left-behind.”
“Now that governments have intervened in the market on an unprecedented scale, citizens have every right to demand that newly dependent sectors align themselves with long-term climate-policy goals. Policymakers already have the tools to make this happen, and doing so would accelerate economic recovery,” writes Joseph Stiglitz.
The recording of our live cast on ‘what really matters in markets’ (21 September) with economist Joseph Stiglitz and politician Herman Van Rompuy is now available. The interview with Joseph Stiglitz and the interview with Herman Van Rompuy, part of the episode, are also available as separate videos. Plus a short summary of the discussion by Eefje de Gelder, coordinator of the consultation process.
Every episode of the online dialogues between visionary economists, organized as part of the Consultation, starts off with a personal reflection by one of the members of the Consultation’s Think Tank of Young Economists. This is the reflection of Elisa Terragno Bogliaccini & Sam de Muijnck at the start of the dialogue on ‘What Really Matters in Markets’ (21 September).
“In Network Origins of the Global Economy: East vs. West in a Complex Systems Perspective, Hilton L. Root argues for the need to consider economies and social orders as open, complex networks, focusing particularly on the transitions that have shaped Europe and China historically with implications for the present day. This original volume will not only serve as a useful textbook for university courses, but will hopefully inspire related studies exploring the social worlds behind our constantly changing economic structures, writes Gábor Bíró.”
“the suspicious activity reports suggest that where there is a conflict between profit and ethical decision making, profit usually wins. I don’t think the reason for this is that all people in finance are unethical, but an industry with such a lot of cash floating around and too little regulation is likely to attract people with questionable ethics.”
“Amy C. Offner’s Sorting Out the Mixed Economy remakes a popular understanding of how today’s neoliberalism was built. Offner shows that neoliberalism, rather than having been imposed by the Washington Consensus, was in fact first developed at a local level. The book shows American entrepreneurs, trained in big government as Lilienthal was, working together with Latin American businesses, banks, and landlords. It was when these new kinds of partnerships returned to the US—when private companies, treated as public concerns and sustained by government funds, began to take shape in the “developed” world—that neoliberalism truly began.”
Through a series of ten public online dialogues we will explore solutions and bring together researchers from around the world to rethink capitalism. How can the freedom and innovative potential of free markets be squared with the requirements of ecological sustainability and social justice as well as inclusiveness? Speakers include Elizabeth Anderson, Paul Collier, Joseph Stiglitz, Mohammed Yunus and Luigi Zingales (and others). Join us for this series of online events from September to November 2020.
In this dialogue we explore what the big challenges are for the long term future of the (European) market economy/economies. What are the key problems with today’s capitalism and what is needed for a change toward a new form of capitalism/market economies, that are both humanly and ecologically sustainable? Is there a possibility for a distinct European model of capitalism, that can meet these demands? With Joseph Stiglitz and Herman Van Rompuy.
The recording of our live cast on ‘economics for change’ (14 September) with economists Irene van Staveren and Arnout Boot is now available. You can also just watch the interviews with Van Staveren and with Boot, which were part of the episode.
“It’s a doctrine not seriously challenged until the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. But in an important respect it was misread. Although not clear from the title of the essay, Friedman himself was quite concerned with broader social aims. His essay was about how best to achieve them.”
“In The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, Zachary D. Carter offers a new intellectual biography tracing the life and legacy of the influential economist, which argues that in the years since Keynes’s death, Keynesian economics has been stripped of Keynesian thought. Weaving together a dazzling array of Keynes’s private letters, journalistic works and academic research, this accessible book may help to hasten Keynes’s revival, writes Stephen Paduano.”
Debate Series on Sustainable & Just Free Markets with Nobel Prize Winners Joseph Stiglitz & Mohammad Yunus
On September 21, researchers from four Dutch universities will start an international consultation that will investigate the options for a sustainable and just free market in Europe. Central part of the consultation is a series of live casts on “The Future of Capitalism” with internationally renowned economists, including Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Mohammad Yunus. The series is organized in collaboration with Dutch debating center Pakhuis de Zwijger. Under the leadership of former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, ideas from the consultation will be bundled in a report that will be published in 2021. [Press Release]
“Systems Are Not Changed Mysteriously; They Are Transformed When There Is a Fundamental Change in Ourselves” – J. Krishnamurti
Every episode of the online dialogues between visionary economists, organized as part of the Future Markets Consultation, starts off with a personal reflection by one of the members of the Consultation’s Think Tank of Young Economists. This is the reflection by Jim Surie at the start of the dialogue on ‘Economics for Change’ (14 September).