The way our economy works and its colonialist roots lie at the heart of many of today’s biggest challenges and creates many of the problems that the State and philanthropy spend resources trying to fix.
Our economic system produces and reproduces inequality, environmental degradation and undermines responsible business behaviours and positive social interactions. It shouldn’t be this way.
As we write this, the UK faces a growing cost of living crisis. Energy prices are moving beyond affordability for many people and yet energy companies are reporting record profits. Those same energy systems are not making the necessary transition away from fossil fuels. This is the outcome of an economic system that services neither people nor planet.
Over the past ten years the gap between the richest in society and the rest of the population has widened both in terms of income and wealth. In 2022 ONS data shows the wealthiest 10% of households own 43% of Britain’s wealth. The bottom half own only 9%. And these wealth inequalities are directly correlated with other marginalised characteristics – such as race, disability and gender.
The climate emergency is the biggest challenge we currently face, yet normal practices in our economic system are based on the extraction of natural resources without consideration of their renewal, carbon intensive and unsustainable (dig-make-use-discard). Investment markets remain dominated by the fossil fuel sector and where companies extract, refine, distribute, ecologically damaging resources and products.
This new strategy builds on the work we have been doing on economic systems change since 2012 and there is a great deal of continuity. There are also some key differences: