Date: April 21st, 2009
Cate: on this blog

Challenged back

Jamais Cascio, whose blog I have been reading with pleasure and awe (what a breadth and depth of topics!) for some time, has written up his scenario sketch of a post-capitalism model and calls it resilience economics. Now there’s a challenge! I have in the past few months been working with GTZ, German development co-operation, on issues related to the establishment of social protection systems in developing countries to cope with the fallout of the ongoing crisis. So the seeds for this blog lay dormant. But I take Jamais’ post as a wake-up call. There is work to be done here, too.

Calling himself “not deeply trained in economics” – something self-respecting economists these days may actually admit to be a comparative advantage – Jamais paints a broad-brush picture of the principles that might guide economic system design twenty years from now: decentralised diversity, redundancy, transactional transparency, flexibility and collaboration, and a task description for resilience economists to be foresight specialists. Yet still, for everyday people things may “not be far off” from how we live today.

Even against the backdrop of the “econopalypse” this is an optimistic scenario. And I like that despite my own somewhat darker expectations. I like it because it underlines that resilience is a life-affirming, values-based concept. And a resilience economics is tasked to support this purpose. Two questions arise from the comments submitted to Jamais’ post: How do we get there? How can be assured that ‘big players’ won’t last long? I want to turn to those in my next posts.

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