Quakers explore radical approaches to economic justice

By staff writers
September 20, 2009

Britain's Quakers are hosting a major conference this week to explore radical approaches to economics in the light of both the recession and the dangers posed by climate change. Taking place on Saturday 26th September, the event will focus on the idea of a “zero-growth economy”.

The Quakers say that they want to look at “the connections between the global economy, people and the environment”. They point out that while the global economy is almost five times the size it was fifty years ago, this growth has taken place at a time of unprecedented environmental destruction.

“This conference comes at a crucial time,” said Helen Drewery of Quaker Peace and Social Witness, “as world leaders prepare for Copenhagen and we all question whether 'business as usual' is a realistic option in the aftermath of the recent economic turmoil”.

The conference will hear from the economist Richard Douthwaite, author of The Growth Illusion. Other speakers will include the activist and author Alastair McIntosh, Duncan Green of Oxfam and Miriam Kennett of the Green Economics Institute.

Drewery suggested that “We need to find creative ways to nurture the growth of human wellbeing without outgrowing the planet’s capacity to support us”. She added that it “may well be humanity’s biggest challenge.”

The conference will take place at Friends House, opposite London's Euston Station. It is organised in partnership with the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and is open to people of all faiths and none at a cost of £20 per person.

Details can be found at http://www.quaker.org.uk/conferences-and-events.

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