Image from 'Directions 2014: New Sustainability Thinking' (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) :: Salterbaxter MSL Group / Flickr

An Economy that Works is an alliance of businesses and civil society organisations promoting the long term, structural changes needed to achieve a sustainable economy. It is managed by the World Future Council, however speaks for its corporate supporters.

At the moment, the UK’s economy is not working: Productivity in 2013 was 17% below the rest of the G7 average [1]; GDP per tonne of CO2 emitted is close to the European average – but 8 European countries did better, and 5 did 20% or more better in 2010 [2]; the UK has the highest inequality amongst European OECD members, and 6th highest overall. Relative poverty is close to the OECD average, but 10 countries, including France, Germany and Ireland do substantially better [3].

Business will not be successful in an economy that doesn’t work. Low productivity undermines competitiveness now, carbon intensity may undermine it in the future, and inequality and associated social tensions create instability, making Britain a potentially unattractive, risky place to do business.

The problems require government action. However they cannot be solved by government without the support of business and citizens. Hence the role of AETW: to bring progressive business together to establish a clearer picture of where we need to go and how we are going to get there.


For more information please contact Charles Seaford: charles.seaford@worldfuturecouncil.org; +44 (0) 780 3086546; World Future Council, 100 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5NQ.

A Roundtable for Businesses

[1] Office for National Statistics – International Comparisons of Productivity – First estimates 2013

[2] United Nations Statistics Division – Millennium Development Goals Database; purchasing power parity figures

[3] OECD statistics division; inequality ranking based on GINI co-efficients