Festival of Ideas May 2017
Economics is broken. It has failed to predict, let alone prevent, financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies. Its out-dated theories have permitted a world in which extreme poverty persists while the wealth of the super-rich grows year on year. And its blind spots have led to policies that are degrading the living world on a scale that threatens all of our futures.
Can it be fixed? Kate Raworth identifies seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray, and sets out a roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. En route, she deconstructs the character of ‘rational economic man’ and explains what really makes us tick. She reveals how an obsession with equilibrium has left economists helpless when facing the boom and bust of the real-world economy. She highlights the dangers of ignoring the role of energy and nature’s resources – and the far-reaching implications for economic growth when we take them into account. And in the process, she creates a new, cutting-edge economic model that is fit for the twenty-first century – one in which a doughnut-shaped compass points the way to human progress.
Kate Raworth is an economist focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the twenty-first century’s social and ecological challenges. She is a Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, Senior Associate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and a member of the Club of Rome. From 2002 to 2013 she was Senior Researcher at Oxfam, and led the organisation’s research on the conceptual framework of planetary and social boundaries; addressing human rights and accountability in climate change adaptation; and protecting labour rights in global supply chains. She is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and of the Advisory Board of the Global Resource Observatory at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute. Follow her on Twitter