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How to think like a renegade economist

When talk on tv turns to the economy people quite sensibly look for the quickest escape route to keep their ears from getting toothache. That’s because commentators like to reach for the esoteric, the dystopian, the never ending set meal of tired old tropes and warnings that remind people they shouldn’t be thinking about economics in the first place.

So forget all that, let’s start with a clean slate, and let’s look at the economies you’re standing in right now.

“If you offer eggs to your neighbour when they come over and knock on the door, or you give a ride to a friend, that’s the sharing economy or the gift economy. You go into your public library that’s the sharing economy as well,” Della Duncan, co-teacher of the Economics Dimension course at Gaia Education, tells me on today’s episode of Inside Ideas. And it doesn’t end there.

I invite you to think of your day, and think of the ways that you participate in neoliberal capitalism, such as buying something on Amazon for example.

Della Duncan

“A tool library in your neighbourhood or a worker cooperative store that would be the solidarity economy of the new economy. There’s the caring economy if you care for an elder or a child in your life.”

All “these different economies we participate in and co-create every day” Della says.

“When we speak about capitalism as all pervasive, we give it more power than we need to. So the invitation is how do we uplift the view, the understanding of these alternative economies and also make them more accessible for all of us to participate in them to lift them out of the global sea of capitalism and connect them.”

Host of the Upstream Podcast, Della is a Renegade Economist who supports individuals as a Right Livelihood Coach, helping transition businesses as a post-capitalist consultant. Challenging mainstream economic thinking on documentaries like The Green Transition: The Problem with Green Capitalism; and The Myth of Freedom Under Capitalism, Della shows us that by thinking like a renegade economist our behaviours can start to better match our values.

“The frame Renegade Economist is something that I heard Kate Rayworth, founder of Donut Economics, described as. I really appreciated that frame and said ‘I aspire to be a Renegade Economist too’. But what it means to me more generally is that when we go upstream from the challenges of our time – political, economic, social, ecological, I think there are some very real challenges related to our economic system particularly relating to assumptions underlying mainstream economic thinking as well as the practices, and operating values of our current dominant economic systems. So to be a renegade economist is to challenge those assumptions, to critique them, and to seek and uplift systemic alternatives.”

Della adds: “These alternative structures, we need to make them visible and to be more aware of how we’re participating in them so that the economy is not something abstract or outside of us but it’s actually something that we participate in and co-create every day.”

Catch my interview with Della now on Inside Ideas and let us help you find your inner renegade economist.

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Written By

Marc is Editor-at-Large for Innovators Magazine and host of INSIDE IDEAS, his OnePoint5Media video podcast show. Marc is a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network, Resilient Futurist, and award-winning Global Food Reformist.


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