Enterprises should focus on wellbeing rather than growth
24 May 2011 | The Guardian
When I run sessions with business executives on growth,
wellbeing, and innovation, I say that people don't have to buy
my analysis of the problem to buy my ideas on the
solution. That's because I think we are now living in an era of
"uneconomic growth" and we therefore have no choice but to redefine
prosperity as being about wellbeing not growth.
But even if, despite all the evidence, growth is still possible
or likely, surely it makes sense for our economy to move on to
defining prosperity not as more "stuff" and money but more
wellbeing? If you disagree with that idea, you won't like what
follows, but I hope you will read on.
Why do I talk about "beyond-growth" economics? We're
trashing our one and only planet. On many measures like
the LPI and Rockstrom, it is clear we are in
overshoot and living off the capital as well as the interest. You
wouldn't run a company that way would you?
And, despite all the rapid growth causing all that destruction,
since the 1970s, wellbeing has flatlined in the developed world. We
know that, at a level beyond which most in the developed world have
long passed, extra income brings little or no more wellbeing.
So what's the growth for? And how come the new economic
foundation's happy planet index shows us that "underdeveloped"
countries such as Costa Rica are far more ecologically efficient at
delivering long, happy lives than places like the UK? Professor Tim
Jackson summarises our growth obession and affluenza in
his TED talk, saying "We spend money we don't have, on things
we don't need, to make impressions that don't last, on people we
don't care about."
The increase in the scale of this consumerist economy is
relentless. And this scale is just as important as the intensity of
resource use. While some evidence can be found for relative
decoupling, absolute decoupling remains fatally elusive.
Read article here
Live life mindfully, Look for what's good, Local community, Politics of Happiness