Economy 132 posts

Prosperity isn’t just about earning more and having more, it consists in our ability to participate meaningfully in the life of society. A vital element that has gone missing for ordinary people over recent decades. We must question the fundamental structures behind our economies before they will work for everyone.

Doughnut Economics | Lecture by Kate Raworth, 7 Feb 2018
Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the need of all within the means of the planet. In her CUSP lecture, Kate Raworth is making a compelling plea for rethinking economic teaching, discussing the history and language of economics and the influence of Tim Jackson's work around 'Prosperity without Growth' on her own thinking.
Cleaning up the economy: Business models of environmental social enterprises | Seminar w Ellen Stenslie, 24 Jan 2018
Environmentally motivated social enterprises (ESEs) sit at the heart of business model innovation for sustainability. Yet, empirical research within this field is lacking. Ellen Stenslie will present her latest research.
Could the investment system contribute to sustainable prosperity? | Blog by Charles Seaford
While some investors put pressure on some companies to act in a more sustainable or socially just way, as yet this is at the margin. In this post, Charles Seaford suggests that this pressure could move centre stage, and that changes to, and clarifications of, fiduciary duty could play a part in this.
The Social Effects of Global Trade | Book chapter by Simon Mair, Angela Druckman and Tim Jackson
As part of a new compilation of groundbreaking work on social indicators, Simon Mair, Angela Druckman and Tim Jackson have contributed a chapter examining how globalisation since 1990 has shaped fairness in the Western European clothing supply chain.
Social Limits To Growth – Lessons for a post-crash economy | Blog by Caroline Lucas and Tim Jackson
On 13 November 2017, the APPG on Limits to Growth hosted an evening debate at the House of Commons, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Social Limits to Growth by Fred Hirsch. Caroline Lucas and Tim Jackson reflect on the continuing relevance of his ground-breaking work.
In Defence of Degrowth — A Comment by Simon Mair
The concept of 'degrowth' is politically infeasible, according to a recent article by Branko Milanović. In this blog, Simon Mair argues that ‘degrowth’ is no less unrealistic than the alternatives.
Climate Innovation Insights: Accelerating the transition to sustainable production systems | Edited by Geraldine Brennan
Edited by Geraldine Brennan, the second series of Climate Innovation Insights shares understanding of how to nurture and sustain cross-sector collaboration to scale up the circular economy and Accelerate the transition to sustainable production systems.
Why do we still worship at the altar of economic growth? | Blog by Donald Hirsch
Forty years ago, Fred Hirsch pointed to a crucial flaw in the emphasis on growth as a central objective in western economies. His seminal book made the case that in addition to ecological limits, there are important social constraints at play. In this blog, his son Prof Donald Hirsch is arguing that these limitations became ever more relevant today.
BBC World Service | Tim Jackson in discussion w Annie Quick, Daniel Ben-Ami and Jared Bernstein
We are told again and again that GDP growth is good for the economy; it is said to lift people out of poverty, provides jobs and investment, and improves lives. While there is general agreement about the need for growth in the developing world, what about the costs of growth in the rich world?
This new world—Reframing the distribution of rewards | Huffington Post Blog by Tim Jackson
Remember trickle-down theory? It’s the rose-tinted notion that economic growth is the only way to bring poor people out of poverty and reduce the inequality that divides society and undermines political solidarity. It’s not working and our choices are clear: Either we endure the rising instability and fractured politics of a deeply unequal world, or we build a new vision of a shared prosperity.
A fair days wage for a fair days work? | Blog by Simon Mair
The people who make our clothes are paid very low wages. We instinctively feel that this is unfair, but it can be hard to articulate why this is. Even harder, is saying what can be done about it. Summarising his recent journal article with Tim Jackson and Angela Druckman, Simon Mair uses the living wage as a basis for claims about fairness, and discuss regional collective bargaining as a solution to unfair wages.
Innovation for wellbeing—social enterprises developing creative alternatives to conventional services | Blog by Fergus Lyon
In the UK, community health and wellbeing services are experiencing pressures of increasing need and resource constraints. A new CEEDR publication in Research Policy shows how social enterprises can develop innovative responses to help address the challenges faced.
Broken promises—the engine of consumerism | Blog by Tim Jackson
Does consumerism thrive on our discontentment? Tim Jackson argues yes, the success of consumer society lies not in meeting our needs but in its spectacular ability to repeatedly disappoint us. This may seem dark, but from here we can understand why consumerism must eventually fall – and how to replace it.
Social Limits to Growth—Implications for Sustainable Prosperity | APPG Evening Debate, 13 Nov 2017
This Autumn, CUSP and the APPG on Limits to Growth will be hosting a debate to mark the 40th Anniversary of Fred Hirsch’s ‘The Social Limits to Growth’. Join us for this timely House of Commons discussion on Hirsch’s challenging analysis and its relevance today.
Navigating social and commercial objectives in social enterprise | CUSP at ESRC Festival of Social Science
Social enterprises have to find ways of having a big social impact on people and the planet while also running a good business. How is this done, and how do you get over the tension between commercial and social objectives? In this ESRC Festival of Social Science workshop, we draw on our research to give those attending the tools to understand the tensions they face, and how they can find a way to navigate through this.
The future of jobs: is decent work for all a pipe dream? | Blog by Tim Jackson
Rapid developments in technology and unpredictable economies are destabilising employment as we know it. What are the possible solutions? It’s not the demand for human labour that is disappearing, Tim Jackson argues, but the institutions and economics to deliver it.
Financial institutions and the fiduciary duty | A roundtable for businesses
The need for the investment industry to help produce a sustainable economy and a cohesive society is well understood and much discussed. There have been some successes, but as yet these are exceptions that prove the rule: our environmental and social problems remain as acute as ever. Is a more radical approach needed?
Chasing good work – reflections on The Taylor Review | By Simon Mair and Agni Dikaiou
One of the achievements of the recent Taylor review has been to breathe new life into the UK debate on good work. Going forward, this debate has to consider work in its wider social context, Simon Mair and Agni Dikaiou find; we have to think about Good Work not just as end in itself, but as a part of other systemic challenges. 
At the interface | Prof Fergus Lyon presenting CUSP research at #AOM2017
A growing number of businesses is interested in contributing to positive social and environmental change, yet face challenges in how they can assess their impacts meaningfully. This issue will be explored at the 77th Meeting of the Academy of Management in Atlanta, USA, with Fergus Lyon sharing CUSP research.
The role of the Circular Economy in Sustainable Prosperity | Blog by Geraldine Brennan
Sustainable prosperity is underpinned by the principle that value creation and increased quality of life can both be decoupled from resource use – making the circular economy a key aspect. In this blog, CUSP research fellow Geraldine Brennan summarises some of her recent findings.
More value from less food? | Blog by Charles Seaford
Dematerialisation of the economy – more value from each unit of ‘stuff’ – is a well-established trend in developed countries. Can food retailers and their supply chains accelerate this trend, CUSP co-investogator Charles Seaford asks, or will government have to intervene?
Better disclosure, better returns | Blog by Alex White
The recently published climate risk recommendations by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) have been met with high-level and cross-sectoral buy in. The UK government should take note, Alex White argues, and ensure to develop national reporting requirements in line with these best practices. 
The social economy and sustainable prosperity | Blog by Ian Vickers
The social economy has many roles to play in tackling poverty, building inclusivity and promoting sustainability. Ian Vickers summarises recent findings that show its potential is not being fully realised in the UK, despite the opportunities provided by the devolution agenda in cities and other local areas.
Learning to Thrive | Innovation Unit event with Tim Jackson, London 28 June
What does it really mean to thrive in today’s world, and what are the key ingredients of a good society that works for everyone? Tim Jackson discussing solutions at evening event co-hosted by Innovation Unit, Webb Memorial Trust and Compass.
Ecological Economics in action | CUSP paper presentations at ESEE 2017 Conference Budapest
CUSP researches Agni Dikaiou, Sarah Hafner, Simon Mair and Craig Rye to give paper presentations at the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics, introducing their CUSP projects to the international ESEE community.
Early stage investing into sustainable green SMEs | CUSP session at SME finance conference, 20 June
CUSP is hosting a green finance session with Fergus Lyon, Robyn Owen and Geraldine Brennan at Middlesex University and ISBE conference on SME Finance, 10 years after the crisis. This session will explore the needs of business and also identify different forms of public support for early stage finance found in the UK and around the world.
Can economies thrive without growth? | Tim Jackson in conversation w Matthew Taylor
When economies stop growing they go into crisis, yet it seems impossible for them to grow forever without causing ecological catastrophe. Tim Jackson joins Matthew Taylor on RSA Radio to talk about the about this big challenge and the impact of Prosperity without Growth – recently updated and expanded in a second edition.
Small Business Social Responsibility: A critical look at the ‘Creating Shared Value’ lens
The concept of 'Creating Shared Value' took the academic and business communities by storm. This approach to social responsibility is an uncomfortable fit for small businesses though, Laura Spence finds, and proposes instead 'the ethic of care' as a more productive way of understanding social responsibility in the small business context.
A competitive economy needs an ambitious low carbon policy | Blog by Nick Molho
The new government will need to have an ambitious and stable low carbon policy at the heart of its project to support the UK’s competitiveness and deliver export opportunities for its businesses, argues Nick Molho, CUSP co-investigator and executive director of the Aldersgate Group.
How to kick the growth addiction | Tim Jackson in conversation with Allen White
Endless economic growth, long the rallying cry of the conventional paradigm, endangers our future. Ecological economist Tim Jackson, CUSP Director and author of Prosperity Without Growth, explores the need to envision a post-growth economy with Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute.
Prosperity without Growth – Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow | By Tim Jackson
The publication of Prosperity without Growth was a landmark in the sustainability debate. This substantially revised and re-written edition updates its arguments and considerably expands upon them. Tim Jackson demonstrates that building a ‘post-growth’ economy is not Utopia - it's a precise, definable and meaningful task. It’s about taking simple steps towards an economics fit for purpose.
Circular Economy Business Models and Sustainable Prosperity | Seminar with Geraldine Brennan, 26 April
The circular economy concept has risen to prominence over the last decade, with some authors arguing that it could be a new paradigm for sustainability. This seminar will explore the contribution of circular economy business models to sustainable prosperity.
Inclusive and Sustainable Economies Powering the SDGs | Tim Jackson at international PAGE conference, Berlin
CUSP Director Prof Tim Jackson is joining the opening panel of the 2nd international ministerial conference of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), 26 March 2017, Berlin.
Assessing asset manager performance—Evolving new techniques | A Roundtable for Industry Professionals
Managing financial performance and risk over the long term has always been a central task for pension funds. How can trustees (of both defined benefit and defined contribution funds, but not specialised ethical funds) assess and manage their asset managers more effectively?
Investing in the economy of tomorrow | Blog by Tim Jackson
Savings and investment represent a fundamentally prudential aspect of human behaviour. They embody a commitment to a shared future. In this blog, Tim Jackson looks at what tomorrow’s economy will be like and what role investment plays in it.
National Infrastructure Assessment | Evidence Submission
In October 2016, the National Infrastructure Commission has launched a 15 week call for evidence to provide input into the development of its National Infrastructure Assessment. The Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity responded.
Commentary on The Struggle for Meaningful Work | by Simon Mair
For most of us—wherever we are in the world—work is a central component of our lives. Any Great Transition narrative wanting to connect with people has to address issues of work. How do we reorient the economy so that its values reflect our values rather than profit?
Understanding investment for sustainable prosperity — breaking down the silos | Blog by Fergus Lyon
At CUSP we're looking at sustainable finance from various angles. By combining transdisciplinary perspectives, we aim to provide a richer understanding of investment and shed light on issues that have hampered the development of a green economy and more sustainable forms of prosperity.
Integrating Health and Environment | NCSE conference with Tim Jackson
CUSP Director Prof Tim Jackson has been invited to give a keynote presentation at the 17th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment in Washington, D.C.. The event is hosted by The National Council for Science and the Environments.
Moral Economies of the Future – The Utopian Impulse of Sustainable Prosperity | Working Paper No 5
The field of ‘moral economy’ explores the ways in which seemingly amoral economic institutions are normatively and politically instituted. However it has tended to neglect the question of how economic actors make commitments to the long-term future, of the sort that are implied by the idea of ‘sustainable prosperity’. Anthropocenic utopias are urgently required.