Joy in Enough - A Project with Christian Ecology Link and A Rocha UK

Ever felt frustrated by the constant talk of economic growth on the main news media? Ever wondered how we can have everlasting growth on a finite planet? Ever wished there was an alternative way to organise our economy that respected the restraints of finite resources and human and planetary well-being?

SPEAK are partnering with Christian Ecology Link and A Rocha UK to look at alternative economic models with the exciting new ‘Joy in Enough’ project.

Our current economic system is busting the limits of creation. Like a cancer it is putting all of life at risk. It’s stopped making people any happier. To turn around a well-known phrase – it’s a stupid economy!

The idea of ‘Joy in Enough’ celebrates the sense of flourishing and well-being that comes from living lives freed from the pressure to consume. The old economy of air miles, bottled water and casino capitalism, will be very much constrained, but the quality of our lives will be enhanced – more time and opportunity for the things that matter, like craft, culture, sport and friendship

Christian Ecology Link have been leading the way, setting up five working groups to look at different strategies to make the difficult transition to a steady state economy that promotes well-being for all long into the future. There’s no silver bullet, no one solution. Instead there are a number of different strategies that are feasible to implement and which, together, would help turn round the giant oil tanker of ‘growth forever’ economic thinking. We’re looking for more people to join these working groups – to discuss by email and phone and come together for a day conference to share our ideas in Birmingham on Saturday 29 March 2014. Get in touch with Tony Emerson at Christian Ecology Link if you want to join a working group or find out more.

A brief summary of the working group themes:
+ The big transnational questions of limiting resource use and waste production and cutting emissions.
+ Reform of the financial sector; changing national economic goals and how we measure progress; investment in low-carbon economic activities that employ people in ways that contribute meaningfully to our well-being.
+ Tackling inequality in our society and promoting work-time reductions and work sharing to challenge the myth that we can only solve unemployment through growth.
+ Promoting conditions that can make more possible close family and community relationships; challenging consumerism.
+ The imperatives in scripture and theology for this new kind of economics, and their implications for the churches’ mission.

As many experts have shown we can have prosperity without growth. Another world is possible – a world of visions of society, at different levels in different places, where people are less stressed, more sociable, more fulfilled, more peaceful than most of us are now, where unemployment, extreme poverty and inequality are less – and without destroying global life support systems.

This is putting ‘love thy neighbour’ into practice for the 21st century, and caring for nature too. It’s not an unrealistic utopia — neighbours will still quarrel, all life’s challenges will still be there.  But we can work together for a world with a more sustainable economy, society and environment than the one we have currently.

Do you want to join us on this road to a new economy? Help us equip the churches to proclaim another world is possible.

For me info see the Joy in Enough page on Christian Ecology Link’s website.