Dr. Robert Costanza will talk about ways to help overcome our addiction to growth and achieve the economy and society focused on sustainable wellbeing.
Societies, like individuals, can become addicted to patterns of detrimental and unsustainable behavior. We can learn from one of the most successful therapies at the individual scale, motivational interviewing (MI). MI is based on engaging addicts in a positive discussion of their goals, motives, and futures. One analogy to MI at the societal level is community engaged scenario planning, which can engage entire communities in building consensus about preferred alternative futures via public opinion surveys and forums. Effective therapies for societal addictions are possible, but require re-balancing effort away from only pointing out the dire consequences of current behaviour and toward also building a truly shared vision of a positive future and ways to get there. A global Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WE-All) involving governments, civil society, NGOs, and academics is forming to help overcome our addiction to growth and achieve the economy and society focused on sustainable wellbeing that we all want.
Professor Robert Costanza is a Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. He is also currently a Senior Fellow at the National Council on Science and the Environment in the US, a Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Center, an Affiliate Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, a deTao Master of Ecological Economics at the deTao Masters Academy, China, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK).