" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.



Premises for a New Economy

There is considerable uncertainty about how tightly ecology constrains planetary growth. Given this uncertainty, prudence dictates a conservative approach that takes limits to growth seriously. In an ecologically constrained world, both the global North and the global South need to consider new obligations and limits. A basic commitment to social justice requires that the claims of the poor, chiefly residing in the South, take precedence over the claims of the rich, chiefly residing in the North. The North may have to accept an actual reduction in conventional measures of standard of living to create ecological space for Southern growth. At any rate, the scope for further growth to contribute to well-being in affluent regions is quite limited, so the costs to the North of reducing growth may be modest-especially if a new economy is organized to provide the economic basis of a good life based on precepts other than more, more, and still more. While recognizing a priority for the poor imposes obligations on the North, this recognition cannot be a license for the South to replicate the wasteful disregard for ecosystem boundaries that has characterized growth in the North. Nor ought the South to countenance the wanton disregard for the claims of the disadvantaged that has allowed large islands of Northern poverty to continue to exist in oceans of Northern wealth.

Read full report

This Perspective was written by Stephen A. Marglin of Harvard University. It draws from the consensus statement of a 2010 workshop, “The challenge of sustainability: towards Rio+20”, organized by the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development, which was endorsed by the following attendees (in alphabetical order): Frank Ackerman, Lois Barber, Peter Brown, Robert Costanza, Paul Ekins, Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Maja Göpel, Tim Jackson, Ashok Khosla, Nebosja Nakicenovic, Paul Raskin, William Rees, Wolfgang Sachs, Juliet Schor, Gus Speth, Peter Victor, and Ernst von Weiszäcker, many of whom contributed to the text.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

Leaving our "Extractivist" past behind is about survival

Naomi Klein: “We are told that selfishness and short-sightedness …

The Meaning of Brexit: It's the Movement

And so there is another meaning, that Brexit represents both an explicit and …

Disabled People Lead the Fight Against Austerity

While the attack on peoples’ lives through social welfare cuts …

Patterns of Commoning

Just like farmers, we cannot really know how big and copious the harvest …

A Conversation with RSF Social Finance CEO Don Shaffer

"People get buried in a blizzard of financial terms that …

The Privilege of Being Privileged

The Ford Foundation believes we have an obligation to strengthen capitalism. …

Prop. 51 Versus a State-Owned Bank: How California Can Save $10 Billion on a $9 Billion Loan

However, there is a much cheaper way to fund this $9 billion school debt. By …