“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.” — Paul Hawken
What are the economics of a world that works for all? What would such an economy look like, and how is it different from the economy we have now?
This is one of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves for several years now, and we keep coming up against some pretty simple — but by no means easy — answers:
First, it has to be an economy that allocates resources in a much smarter and more sustainable way.
Second, it has to be an economy that does not have a built-in tendency toward inequality, and if anything has a tendency to distribute wealth more broadly and more equitably.
Third, it has to be an economy that creates new pathways for opportunity.
Fourth, it has to be an economy that measures and values the right things and not the wrong things.
Let’s look at a couple of these in more detail.