Economics of Sustainability

Economics of Sustainability

Six-Part Learning Series

January 8 – February 12, 2021; 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. EST

Madhavi VenkatesanSix weekly discussions facilitated by Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan. Readings will be made available online. Participants are encouraged to read the material provided before the discussion hour.

We all live and participate within an economic system. However, what is not often contemplated is how our economic system affects all aspects of our lives from what we pursue (our purpose) to how we consume and most importantly how we view the environment and stewardship. These latter aspects are implicit in our choices but often overlooked. This is why understanding how our economy works can provide the foundation to not only promoting interest in social justice, environmental justice, and economic equity, the three pillars of sustainability; but also in aligning our culture to better reflect our individual values. For example, our happiness is proxied on our income in our present economic framework but income though necessary is not sufficient. Profits are determined by how much is sold but this may not be reflective of the holistic costs of production (i.e. pollution), which by inclusion could reduce returns and highlight the reduction in the quality of life. This series will address economic literacy and the relationship between our economic actions and economic outcomes. The discussions are meant to both assess and empower individual behavior and the potential for social change.

January 8: Defining an economic system: A discussion of social construction
January 15: The role of GDP in culture
January 22: Theory and reality the role of economic agents in consumption and production
January 29: Aligning sustainability with the present economic system
February 5: Reconfiguring the economy from the bottom up
February 12: Why explicit discussion of values is important, necessary, and significant in defining an economy.

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