"Among three main areas of economics, the financial sphere remains dominant over social economics and environmental economics. The reason for this is very simple: in order for any system of economics to be sustainable over time, it must first be financially sustainable. If a system costs more than it produces, it requires infinite inputs over time. Infinite inputs are not available in a finite world, and we live in a finite world. If we pursue a system that costs more than it produces financially, it must and will necessarily collapse. But now, the financial system itself is broken: it costs far more than it produces."
What followed was the core argument from a 1996 paper which warned of the prospect of uprisings by those disenfranchised by this now broke system.
It led to the creation of a business model for social benefit which by then was operating in Ukraine.
Our 2009 paper described as Economics in Transition, had raised these question:
"At issue: how can we create an economy based on people, to achieve financial profit, social benefit, and a safer, cleaner environment.
What would such an economy look like? How can it work? What can be done in Ukraine to achieve it?"
For the speaker, who had been "out in the trenches" the most immediate concern was growing social unrest which had signs of turning to violent conflict
In 2013, with my article Re-Imagining Capitalism - The New Bottom LIne I described the work of P-CED to Mckinsey's Long Term Capitalism Challenge.
Interestingly later in 2013 Patagonia launched their Responsible Economy initiative:
"In a recent essay, also titled “The Responsible Economy,” Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, explained: “Can we even imagine what an economy would look like that wouldn’t destroy the home planet? A responsible economy? During the next two years, Patagonia will try to face and explore that question. We’ll use real-world examples, not a lot of pie-in-the-sky theories. Most of all, we’re going to feel our way into how this question affects how we do business. It is the most ambitious and important endeavor we have ever undertaken.”
I think I could reasonably say that we had imagined and delivered a real world example
The following year Sustainable Brands followed up on the initiative
When Patagonia launched its Responsible Economy campaign last fall, VP of Environmental Initiatives Rick Ridgeway eloquently summed up the ‘elephant in the room’ of capitalism: Growth is not sustainable. Ridgeway accepts that evolving from our current economic system will be especially challenging for larger companies with insatiable IPOs, but I’d like to share some ways it not only can be done but is being done.
By then, violent conflict in Ukraine had begun.