A new project by the Post Growth Institute is exploring the prospect of a mainstream shift toward not-for-profit enterprise as an alternative to the growth-based model of business and finance. Could this form a crucial plank in the vision for a new economy based on sharing and cooperation, rather than competition and endless consumption?
The idea of
sharing food has taken root in recent years as a response to our broken food systems, but does it make sense to talk about
food sharing on a global basis? Perhaps it does, as long as we advocate a true
form of economic sharing that addresses the power structures and politics
underlying our unjust globalised food economy.
Governments must accept
that the root causes of poverty, inequality and climate change will never be
addressed without substantial reforms to the global economy. In the meanwhile,
the post-2015 development goals need to be much more ambitious about preventing
avoidable poverty-related deaths within an immediate timeframe.
The seed freedom movement
is an inspiring example of how the principle of sharing is central to resolving
the crisis in agriculture, and highlights the urgency of resisting the powerful agribusinesses that seek to eliminate biodiversity and criminalise the saving and sharing of seed.
In order to stimulate further public engagement and activism
on global issues, it is important for those promoting the sharing economy to
place far greater emphasis on the environmental and social benefits of sharing
rather than any purely personal benefits, such as financial gain.
Campaigners have long proposed measures to reduce extreme inequality, but policymakers remain fixated on an economic model that threatens to undermine the fabric of society. When will the political elite heed the growing demands for redistribution that are being voiced in countless reports, books and public protests?
Land value taxation embodies the principle that natural resources are the creations of nature and should therefore belong to society as a whole, not individuals – and as STWR acknowledges, the ramifications of this conceptual shift for a more just and sustainable world are potentially immense.
There are many policies that governments could implement to raise the
finances needed to reverse austerity measures, tackle climate change and
prevent needless poverty-related deaths. But we cannot rely on governments to change the current world direction - the only hope is a huge groundswell of popular support in favour of global sharing.
Oxfam's chief executive makes some thought-provoking observations about transitioning to a sustainable and just world, and points towards an important question: what will it take to spur a
mass engagement of ordinary people around the need to end poverty
and social injustice?
The recent climate talks in Doha were held as if in an alternative reality to distressing developments across the world. But there still remains hope and optimism because there is no possibility of preventing runaway
climate change without global sharing and justice.