Neva Goodwin and Stewart Wallis in Conversation

In her 2010 E. F. Schumacher Lecture Neva Goodwin imagined the economy of 2075 and what we might hope to see. She identified current corporate structure, designed to increase profits for shareholders, as an obstacle to achieving a more diverse and resilient economy. She highlighted the importance of transitioning to distributed production of energy from renewable sources to alleviate climate deterioration.

The throw-away society that developed in the twentieth century has externalized huge costs onto the environment and the people of the future. Those living in 2075 will still be picking up these costs; they will perhaps, less figuratively, still be picking up our trash.

The third quarter of this century can be a time for healing, for repairing as much as we can the damage that has been inflicted on the natural world, for seriously addressing inequality and global as well as local poverty, and for building clean governments that have not been captured by corporate interests but are devoted to the good of the people.

Neva Goodwin’s own significant activism has been focused on the fossil fuel industry leading shareholder demands for greater environmental accountability. And when not met, leading divestment from the industry.

Stewart Wallis has always been clear that to achieve transition to an economy that is just and regenerative will require a movement for change.

The Transition Town movement has done wonders as a social movement about places in transition; we want to expand what they have accomplished to society in transition, bringing the various environmental and development groups together. We also want to grow the movement to businesses in transition, faiths in transition, arts in transition, education in transition.

Without serious people pressure, we can write all the reports in the world, conduct, all the brilliant research, and do all the good lobbying, but it won’t produce change. It will take enormous momentum for change to happen.
Stewart Wallis’ work with London’s New Economic Foundation and now with the Well Being Economy Alliance reflects this commitment to effecting broad societal transition to a newly imagined economy.

On September 10th at 2pm Eastern, Neva Goodwin and Stewart Wallis will engage in a live, virtual conversation on Zoom moderated by Alice Maggio. They will reflect on their original talks given current political, economic, and social realities and will then comment on each other’s work. Registration is free. A question and answer period will follow initial presentations. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the event will be available.

Register here

About our speakers:

Neva Goodwin seeks ways to translate an understanding of the economy in its full social and ecological contexts into action and policy. She follows on-the-ground experiments in alternative socio-economic institutional design, and is involved with efforts to motivate business to recognize social and ecological health as significant, long-term corporate goals. Her lifelong involvement with the care and management of natural environments, and awareness of the onrushing crises of the 21st century – environmental crises causing, and caused by, social and economic disfunction – have turned her attention from economics per se to the possibility for ecological restoration to halt and turn around humanity’s headlong slide to disaster.

From 1995 through 2019 Dr. Goodwin was Co-director of the Global Development And Environment Institute, a research university at Tufts University. There she worked to systematize and institutionalize an economic theory – “contextual economics” – that will have more relevance to contemporary real-world concerns than does the dominant economic paradigm.  Much of this work has now moved to the Economics In Context Initiative at Boston University ( Goodwin’s work in economics included editing more than a dozen books, and she is the lead author of three introductory textbooks: Microeconomics in Context, Macroeconomics in Context and Principles of Economics in Context. A Transitional Economies Edition of the micro text was translated into Russian and Vietnamese, and a European edition of the macro text has been published.

Stewart Wallis is currently Chair of WEAll, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. WEAll is the leading global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working together to transform the economic system into one that delivers human and ecological wellbeing.

Previously he was Executive Director of NEF -the New Economics Foundation (the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic, and environmental justice) for 12 years and International Director of Oxfam GB (responsible for Oxfam’s emergency, development and policy work worldwide) for 10 years. Prior to this, he spent 7 years with the World Bank, in Washington DC, working on industrial and financial development in East Asia, and 13 years working in business, including leading a successful turnaround of a 1000 employee business.

Stewart has a Masters degrees from Cambridge and London Business School, an Honorary Doctorate from Lancaster University, and was awarded the O.B.E. for services to Oxfam. He is also Chair of the Conservation Farming Trust and co-author of the recently published ‘A Finer Future’ .

Past lectures by our speakers include:

Neva Goodwin:

2010 – What Can We Hope for the World in 2075?

Stewart Wallis:

2010 – Voices of a New Economics

2011 – A Great Transition