We recently launched #traidtalks a series of debates to create a new space to reflect and think more creatively about different aspects of sustainability within our learning community.

Andrea Speranza from TRAID introduces the first #traidtalk
Andrea Speranza from TRAID introduces the first #traidtalk

We were delighted to have Jonathan Dawson as our first speaker from the Schumacher College, talking about Economics for Transition to a diverse audience including NGOs, local authorities, TRAID staff as well as grassroots campaigners and students.

If you missed the talk, you can watch it here.

Jonathan introduced us to several critics of current economic models such as Tim Jackson who for example challenges the use of Gross Domestic Product as a metric for measuring the real wealth of societies.

He challenged assumptions about humanity used to explain current economic thinking – such as individualism and selfishness – and quoting Eric Beinhocker who said, ‘Empirical studies find that human behavior is not selfish, but rather attuned to eliciting cooperation in social networks, rewarding cooperation and punishing free riders.”

Where the first part of the talk was intellectually stimulating, the second part inspired us to take action now. Jonathan gave us examples of alternative sustainable models emerging around the world: from local currencies used in places like Totnes and Brixton; to successful initiatives to share and recirculate goods via the internet such as children’s clothes and toys.

This talk pointed to a new emerging paradigm for participatory economic cooperation creating ‘…a model of development free from the imperative of endless growth for its own sake, based not on large-scale, hierarchical-control, but on the wholesale de-centralisation of power, towards smaller, local ownership and decision-making…’

If you are interested in seeing the full presentation, please email Andrea Speranza to request a copy (PowerPoint). We will also be making a video of the talk available soon.

Join us at the next #traidtalks on Thursday June 5th when speaker David Keys will debate Who is Educating the Educators?, 6:30 – 8pm The Hub, 4th Floor, 5 Torrens Street, London, EC1V 1NQ. Download more information here.