Four Steps to an Economics That Can Meet Our Global Challenges

Riane Eisler presented a keynote speech at the July, 2019 Bretton Woods global economic gathering.

October 10, 2019

In her keynote speech this summer at Bretton Woods 75, a high-level round table gathering that explored the future of global economics, Dr. Riane Eisler offered a 4-step framework for building a more caring and just economy rooted in a culture of partnership systems. What’s Next? Beyond Capitalism and Socialism demonstrated how we can view economics through the cultural lens of domination systems and partnership systems.

Partnership social configurations support an equitable family and social structure, equitable gender roles and relations, leaving behind traditions of violence, and a new narrative in which caring for people and nature is normal and moral.

Step 1: Recognizing that our old economic systems of capitalism and socialism came out of more rigid, domination-oriented times. We need a new economics: a caring and just economy rooted in partnership systems, one that gives visibility and value to the work of caring for people and nature.

Step 2: Recognizing the interconnection of economic and social systems. Do these systems, each with a very different set of values, lean toward the domination or the partnership end of the social scale?

Step 3: Recognizing the economic value of caring for people and nature. Caring business policies create proven returns to investors; countries with caring policies rank highest in global competitiveness reports. Partnership-oriented national policies, such as those in many Nordic countries, include generous paid parental leave, elder care with dignity, solar and clean power, universal healthcare, and more.

Step 4: Changing our measures of economic health. GDP does not count the economic value of the essential life-sustaining activities of the household, natural, and community volunteer sectors of the economy (when measured, the unpaid value of household equals 50% of GDP). Social Wealth Economic Indicators, developed by the Center for Partnership Studies, look at both the inputs (care investment indicators) and outputs (human capacity indicators) of the economic system.
Learn more about SWEIs.

Watch the video of Eisler’s full presentation at the July, 2019 Bretton Woods 75 economic conference.


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