CLEANR | Economic Transition in the Anthropocene: Ensuring a Just and Sustainable Future for Humanity

Friday, April 26 at 9:00am to 1:00pm

Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine 100 Academy Way, Irvine, CA 92617

We are in a period of systemic upheaval. For the first time in the evolution of life on Earth, human dominance of the planet’s biological, chemical and geological processes is seriously disrupting our critical life support systems. Profoundly related to this, the economic orthodoxy that has dominated western politics and culture for the past 40 years is rapidly losing legitimacy. In the face of multiple crises—environmental breakdown, increased inequality of income and opportunity, growing political polarization—the ideas and assumptions behind today’s economic theory fail to adequately explain or fix what is going so wrong.

Political economic paradigms do not last forever. The evident failings of mainstream economic theory, together with our growing understanding of the economy as complex, dynamic, embedded in natural environments, and deeply influenced by human history, cultures, values and behavior, suggest that the conditions for a new and better understanding of the economy are beginning to emerge. To create the space for transition we must go beyond debates focused on incremental policy change and develop a better analysis of our economic system as it is and not as we might like it to be.

This conference will explore today’s political economy and its role in shaping the Anthropocene and our future. We’ll explore questions relating to power, such as who gets what and why, how power becomes concentrated, and how can we increase opportunity and fairness while displacing entrenched vested interests. We’ll also investigate whether and how business as usual can enable us to live safely within the boundaries of nature, the ultimate arbiter of human well-being.

Featured Speakers Include:

Gayle Peterson
Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Gayle Peterson is Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, Oxford University, where she is a founder of the Women Transforming Leadership Programme and programme director of Oxford Impact Investing. She has more than 25 years of experience as strategist, philanthropist, and trusted advisor to social investors worldwide. She is also the Co-founder and Senior Managing Director of pfc social impact advisors.

Gabriela Ramos
OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20

Gabriela Ramos is the OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20. Besides supporting the Strategic Agenda of the Secretary General, she is responsible for the contributions of the Organisation to the global agenda, including the G20 and the G7. She leads the Inclusive Growth Initiative and the New Approaches to Economic Challenges and also oversees the work on Education, Employment and Social Affairs (including gender).

Carl Safina
Founding President, The Safina Center
Endowed Research Chair for Nature and Humanity, Stony Brook University

Carl Safina is the inaugural holder of the endowed chair for nature and humanity at Stony Brook University, and is founding president of the not-for-profit organization, The Safina Center. His work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals.

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