Video: Tim Jackson’s TED Talk: An economic reality check

[Tim Jackson, 2010] As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.

Of the credit and debt cycle, he says: “This is a strange, rather perverse story. It’s a story about us, people, being persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to create impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about.”

“What we’ve done is we’ve created economies, systems which systematically privilege encourage one narrow portrait of the human soul and left the others unregarded… this isn’t about changing human nature or curtailing possibilities, it is about opening up, it is about allowing ourselves the freedom to become fully human, recognizing the depth and breadth of the human psyche and building institutions to protect Rembrandt’s fragile altruist within.”

“Investment has to be – in the new economy – protecting and nurturing the ecological assets on which our future depends. It has to be about transition, it has to be about investing in low carbon technologies and infrastructure…”

Prosperity without growth is possible. We won’t solve poverty “unless we are capable of redefining a meaningful sense of prosperity in the rich countries, a prosperity that is more meaningful and less materialistic than the growth model. This is not just a Western, post-materialist fantasy… [there are] similarities between this view of prosperity and the traditional african concept of Ubuntu. Ubuntu says ‘I am because we are,’ prosperity is a shared endeavor. Its roots are long and deep, its foundations – I’ve tried to show – exist already inside each of us.”

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