The Great Transition
Follow
Find
25.0K views | +17 today
 
Scooped by Willy De Backer
onto The Great Transition
Scoop.it!

Sustainable cities must look beyond city limits

Sustainable cities must look beyond city limits | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"City leaders aspiring to transform their cities into models of sustainability must look beyond city limits and include in their calculation the global flow of goods and materials into their realm, argue researchers in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences journal Ambio."

 

Interesting analysis: if we look at the total footprint of cities, how sustainable are they really? Is urbanisation really the key to future sustainability? And what about the social sustainability of cities in a world of increasing inequality?

more...
No comment yet.

From around the web

The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The ideologues of the Eurozone

The ideologues of the Eurozone | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The problem for the Euro project is that it has become captured by an economic ideology, and austerity is that ideology’s principle weapon. A self-confident and mature Eurozone would be able to tolerate diversity, rather than trying to crush any dissent. A Eurozone captured by an ideology will insist there is but one path, and that the imperative of austerity is too important to accommodate democratic wishes. Pursuing that ideology has brought the Eurozone to the brink, where it is prepared to force out one of its uncooperative members. Critics of austerity are not trying to destroy to Eurozone, but save it from the grip of this self-destructive ideology.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant must-read analysis by Simon Wren-Lewis on how the austerity fundamentalist are killing the European project.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The real challenge this week is to save the eurozone — FT.com

The real challenge this week is to save the eurozone — FT.com | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Europe’s leaders will have the unique opportunity to commit two mistakes in a single week. On Monday, Europe’s leaders will decide on the future of Greece. On Thursday and Friday, they will meet again to discuss, among other things, the future governance of the eurozone. The latter is more important in the long run: a healthy eurozone may even withstand a Greek exit from the single currency and prosper. But a crippled eurozone would be no less crippled if Greece were to remain a member. A dual failure would be a disaster.

Willy De Backer's insight:

Pretty pessimistic analysis by Wolfgang Munchau (FT) on Grexit and the future of the eurozone

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Greek debt crisis is the Iraq War of finance

Greek debt crisis is the Iraq War of finance | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Guardians of financial stability are deliberately provoking a bank run and endangering Europe's system in their zeal to force Greece to its knees
Willy De Backer's insight:

One of the best article on the real hidden agenda of the EU's financial elites. 'The EU is worried about political “moral hazard”, about what Podemos might achieve in Spain, or the eurosceptics in Italy, or the Front National in France, if Syriza is seen to buck the system and get away with it.'

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Smarter regulation for the sharing economy

Smarter regulation for the sharing economy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We need to rethink our notion of the sharing economy in order to make better regulation.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent summary of the regulatory challenges of the sharing economy.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Questioning the Hype About Artificial Intelligence

Questioning the Hype About Artificial Intelligence | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Fresh fears about the singularity have prompted new critiques of what it will mean for humanity.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent analysis in the Atlantic about Artificial Intelligence and the over-optimistic and over-pessimistic narratives about this issue. Great conclusion: "The lesson of AI is not that the light of mind and consciousness is beginning to shine in machines, but rather the dimming of our own lights at the dawn of a new era".

more...
David Hain's curator insight, May 17, 8:51 AM

Important topic for 21c, well covered by the Atlantic.

Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Weekend read: The trouble with growth

Weekend read: The trouble with growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Clearly, belief in the indispensability of economic growth, while deeply rooted in governments virtually worldwide, is quite recent. The common view that growth has always been an important objective of government is mistaken.

That growth is inextricably bound up with human nature is an even greater mistake, if it makes us think that there really is no alternative to economic growth. Understanding that growth is not a necessary goal of government policy is critical if we are to imagine alternative economic futures.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great, must-read article by Tim Jackson and Peter Victor - from the new State of the World Report 2015

more...
Larry Glover's curator insight, April 12, 7:47 PM
What we measure reveals both our worldview and our values. It is time to wildly revision what it is to be human... and in doing so to also revision what it is that makes life richly fulfilling. What is it we really want to grow in our lives?
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Civil Power and the Partner State: A Social Solidarity Economy Response to Austerity in Greece

Civil Power and the Partner State: A Social Solidarity Economy Response to Austerity in Greece | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
What we are talking about is a new conception: The idea of the Partner State. At its essence, the Partner State is an enabling state. It facilitates and provides the maximum space and opportunity for civil society to generate goods and services for the fulfillment of common needs.

It is a State whose primary orientation is the promotion of the common good, not private gain. And, in contrast to a view of the citizen as a passive recipient of public services, the Partner State requires a new conception of productive citizenship. Of citizenship understood as a verb, not a noun.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The puzzling flattening of carbon emissions and the problem of global growth

The puzzling flattening of carbon emissions and the problem of global growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
maybe flat carbon emissions are actually telling us something "no one" wants to hear: that economic growth has faltered or even halted for a large portion of the world's people and that we are going to have to deal with the consequences of that until we design a new system that can either grow for the benefit of everyone--a difficult proposition--or that can sustainably, equitably and successfully manage a steady-state economy--an even more difficult proposition.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Must-read analysis of the growth and greenhouse emissions puzzle: "As long as the chimera of perpetual growth can be sold to the masses, no one will have to deal with the thorny issue of redistribution as the primary method for the economic betterment of the middle and lower classes."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

David Graeber: ‘So many people spend their working lives doing jobs they think are unnecessary’

David Graeber: ‘So many people spend their working lives doing jobs they think are unnecessary’ | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
technology has been marshalled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. Huge swaths of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they believe to be unnecessary. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.”
Willy De Backer's insight:

Looking forward to reading Graeber's new book.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Higher Education and the Politics of Disruption

Higher Education and the Politics of Disruption | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As higher education's role as a center of critical thought and civic engagement is devalued, society is being transformed into a "spectacular space of consumption" and financial looting.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Absolutely brilliant essay by Heny Giroux about the devastating assault of neo-liberal market-first ideology on universities and higher education

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The collapse of Big Oil: How the industry priced itself into oblivion

The collapse of Big Oil: How the industry priced itself into oblivion | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Multinationals have long depended on an endless demand for their product. Now they're scrambling for a new model
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great analysis by Michael Klare of the demise of Big Oil.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Schuld und Sühne in Griechenland

Schuld und Sühne in Griechenland | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Dazu aber, von der schleichenden Selbstentmachtung der politischen Instanzen, von den Souveränitätstransfers hin zu den Agenturen des Finanzregimes, vom schwindenden Einfluss des Wählers auf politische Entscheidungsprozesse und vom unheimlichen Gewicht mehr oder weniger arkaner Expertengremien (Euro-Gruppe, EZB-Rat) - dazu hören wir von Politikern, aus Griechenland wie Deutschland, im achten Jahr der Finanz-, Geld-, Banken- und Wirtschaftskrise, kein einziges gescheites Wort.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Good article (in German) on the real problem in the Germany-Greece standoff: power is no longer in hands of political players but financial markets.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Coppola Comment: Greece and the EU: a question of trust

Coppola Comment: Greece and the EU: a question of trust | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
This, in a nutshell, was the obstacle. Syriza wanted a new arrangement in which the rest of the EU would trust it to deliver on its promises. The rest of the EU wanted Syriza to prove its trustworthiness by completing the current programme. Deadlock.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Balanced and interesting analysis by Frances Coppola of the deal between Greece and Eurozone leaders. But by trying to win trust from the austerity elites, could Syriza lose trust of its voters?

Seems to me, the endgame has just been postponed by four months.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

A World Without Work

A World Without Work | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

We’re pretty good at noticing the immediate effects of technology’s substituting for workers, such as fewer people on the factory floor. What’s harder is anticipating the second-order effects of this transformation, such as what happens to the consumer economy when you take away the consumers.

Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant must-read analysis of the coming 'post-work' society in The Atlantic.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Economics vs. the Economy

Economics vs. the Economy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Economic theories, though social constructions, can reflect reality to varying degrees. In the face of dire environmental challenges, adopting a realistic theory is key to the survival of global civilization. The neoliberal emphasis on limitless growth and monetary flows, a relic of nineteenth century thinking, abstracts away from biological conditions. By contrast, ecological economics—as distinct from environmental economics, which remains wedded to the neoliberal growth paradigm—understands the economy as...
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant theoretical essay by ecological footprint founder William Rees but ending with unjustified optimism.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Amartya Sen: The economic consequences of austerity

Amartya Sen: The economic consequences of austerity | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
There can be little doubt that Europe has needed, for quite some time, many serious institutional reforms – from the avoidance of tax evasion and the fixing of more reasonable retiring ages to sensible working hours and the elimination of institutional rigidities, including those in the labour markets. But the real (and strong) case for institutional reform has to be distinguished from an imagined case for indiscriminate austerity, which does not do anything to change a ­system while hugely inflicting pain. Through the bundling of the two together as a kind of chemical compound, it became very difficult to advocate reform without simultaneously cutting public expenditure all around. And this did not serve the cause of reform at all.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Absolutely brilliant must-read analysis by Amartya Sen of Europe tragic austerity obsession

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits

Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
f the global population is to live safely within the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet, we must be prepared – especially those of us in the developed regions of the world – to reimagine the good life by embracing ‘simpler ways’ of living based on notions of moderation, frugality, appropriate technology, and sufficiency.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Worthwhile read on how to live the good life within the planetary limits.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Spain's CIC Tries to Build a New Economy from the Ground Up

Spain's CIC Tries to Build a New Economy from the Ground Up | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
CIC regards all of this as evidence that the state is no longer willing to honor its social contract with citizens. Accordingly, it has called for civil disobedience to unjust laws and is doing everything it can to establish its own social order with a more humane logic and ethic.
Willy De Backer's insight:

David Bollier on the Catalan Integral Cooperative, 'one of the more audacious commons-based innovations to have emerged in the past five years'

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

From basic income to social dividend: sharing the value of common resources | P2P Foundation

From basic income to social dividend: sharing the value of common resources | P2P Foundation | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Given the various problems associated with existing basic income schemes, not least of which is funding, issuing social dividends from user fees on shared resources could be a sensible alternative to the tax-funded benefit programs considered above. The social dividend approach would address a number of the concerns that drive proponents of a citizen’s income, such as providing a non-labour supplement to falling wages and incomes, or reducing social and economic exclusion.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant must-read analysis of the basic income debate looking at social and ecological alternatives to the current neo-liberal hegemony.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The hidden reasons behind slow economic growth: Declining EROI, constrained net energy

The hidden reasons behind slow economic growth: Declining EROI, constrained net energy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
the growth in net energy appears to have slowed while EROI of fossil fuels continues to fall. That has led to greater competition for the available net energy and a general rise in fossil fuel prices from 2000 onward. There have been fluctuations, sometimes violent ones, tied to the so-called Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 and to the softening of the world economy in the past year which led to steep declines in oil prices (something which may be telling us there is another recession in the offing).
Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent article by Kurt Cobb on the real reasons behind the world's low-growth (maybe even degrowth) problem.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Islamic State is the cancer of modern capitalism

Islamic State is the cancer of modern capitalism | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Ultimately, IS is a cancer of modern industrial capitalism in meltdown, a fatal by-product of our unwavering addiction to black gold, a parasitical symptom of escalating civilisational crises across both the Muslim and Western worlds. Until the roots of these crises are addressed, IS and its ilk are here to stay.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant analysis of the roots of Islamic State by Nafeez Ahmed. Must-read.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Things Are Unraveling At An Accelerating Rate

Things Are Unraveling At An Accelerating Rate | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
This vast expansion of debt on the backs of marginal borrowers and the expansion of risky investments has greatly increased the systemic risk of losses from defaults arising from over-extended borrowers.

No wonder every attempt to further expand debt-based consumption is yielding diminishing returns: net income is stagnant virtually everywhere in the bottom 95% of the populace, and further declines in interest rates are increasingly marginal as rates are near-zero everywhere that isn’t suffering a collapse in its currency.

The diminishing returns manifest in three ways: the gains from each round of central-bank tricks are declining, the periods of stability following the latest “save” are shrinking and the amplitude of each episode of debt crisis is expanding
Willy De Backer's insight:

How the growth of global debt is fueling the zero-growth economy - good article from Peak Prosperity

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Only Less Will Do

Only Less Will Do | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The math of compound growth leads to absurdities (one human for every square meter of land surface by the year 2750 at our current rate of population increase) and to tragedy.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant essay by Richard Heinberg on the need for planned degrowth. "...while climate change is the mega-crisis of our time, carbon is not our only nemesis. If global warming threatens to undermine civilization, so do topsoil, freshwater, and mineral depletion. These may just take a little longer."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

'Syriza wins time—and space' by Étienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra

'Syriza wins time—and space' by Étienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
By definition, going beyond capitalism lies outside of any government’s field of possibilities, in Greece or anywhere else. That is something more than urgently rescuing European capitalism from a catastrophe that would also be our own – it is a perspective on the horizon of prolonged social and political struggles that cannot limit themselves to the institutional terrain.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Interesting views but the main question is ducked. What is the project these new social and political struggles should fight for? My answer: how to prosper and redistribute in a post-growth economy? Little of this in Syriza reform proposals to the Eurogroup.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

How Greece Got Outmaneuvered - The New Yorker

How Greece Got Outmaneuvered - The New Yorker | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Once Wolfgang Schäuble, the flinty German finance minister, realized that Varoufakis couldn’t play the Grexit card, he knew that he had him where he wanted him. The German government point-blank refused even to consider a Greek request for an end to the bailout and a new bridging loan, and it quietly encouraged the E.C.B. to issue a series of warnings to the Greeks. And then, a couple of days ago, after Varoufakis had reversed course and asked for an extension of the current bailout, Schäuble rejected that request, too, forcing the Greeks to make even more concessions.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Another very good analysis of the Greece-EU deal.

more...
No comment yet.