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Crash Course in Economic Sustainability For Non-Economists

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Facilitated by: 

John Ikerd & Lonnie Gamble

·      Do you teach courses or conduct other educational programs related to sustainability?

·      Do you feel less confident and comfortable with economic concepts than with the ecological and social aspects of sustainability?

·      Do wish you could take a course to learn the essentials of economic sustainability without a lot of the charts, graphs, and economic jargon?

·      Do you wish you could take such a course but feel you don’t have the time or money?

If your answer is yes to more than one of these questions, you should consider participating in The Crash Course in Economic Sustainability for Non-Economists in Fairfield, IA, June 5-9, 2013.

Most people know there is something fundamentally wrong with what they have been told about economic sustainability. However, they don’t know enough about economics to challenge the fallacies of conventional economic thinking. The Crash Course will reinforce your intuition and common sense with logic and reason.
 
Most economists have either ignored economic sustainability or have made it so complicated that it takes a PhD in economics to comprehend.. They assume human imagination and creativity are capable of solving any problem we may create and finding a substitute for any resource we may degrade or deplete. Or they complicate the issue by trying to “internalize the externalities” by assigning economic values or prices to the negative social and ecological impacts of economic activities.  Either way, most economists claim all we need to achieve sustainability is the economic incentive to do so. If this were true, our economy quite likely would already be sustainable, which it is not.

As a result, most people who conduct sustainability education programs skip lightly over the economic dimension of sustainability, hoping their students won’t ask too many questions. Some may refer their students to various sources that claim economic sustainability is actually more profitable than economic extraction and exploitation, or at least would be if we used government policies to “get the prices right.”

As a result, the sustainability movement continues to suffer from economic illiteracy. The Crash Course in Economic Sustainability addresses this problem directly and decisively.

·      You will learn that you don’t need to be or become an economist to understand the basic principles and concepts essential for economic sustainability.

·      You will be provided with a basic text book and discussion guide that explains the essential principles and concepts without resorting to economic jargon, charts, and graphs.

·      You will learn that economic sustainability is inextricably interrelated with social and ecological sustainability, while economic value is fundamentally different from social and ethical values.

·      You will discover that any thoughtful person, in collaboration with other thoughtful people, can learn the essentials of economic sustainability in a matter of days, not weeks or years.

·      In the process of collaborative learning, you will learn ways of sharing what you have learned with your students or colleagues, without being self-conscious about what you have yet to learn.

The conveners of the Crash Course, John Ikerd and Lonnie Gamble, have extensive experience with educational programs related to both economics and sustainability and have facilitated a number of similar collaborative learning experiences. That said, you will also learn from other members of the class and from others in the community, as much of the learning will take place outside the classroom in community of Fairfield, IA.
 

Fairfield is a thriving, entrepreneurial community that is also paving the way for numerous sustainability initiatives in Iowa. In 2003, a report by the National Center for Small Communities selected Fairfield as a recipient of The Grassroots Rural Entrepreneurship Award, saying that the city "has become recognized as one the nation’s most entrepreneurial small towns." Mayor Ed Malloy describes the city's agenda for sustainability as "aggressive," and includes a Green Strategic Plan covering everything from conservation, local farms, local food, alternative transportation, and bike paths and trails.

We hope to see you at the Crash Course in Fairfield this summer!

Sponsored by: Maharishi University of Management Sustainable Living Department

Location: 
Fairfield, IA
United States
Date: 
Wed, 06/05/2013 (All day) to Sun, 06/09/2013 (All day)