Could the global economic system be transformed to one that puts people and planet first? And if so, how would it work?
These are among questions Gareth Hughes asked community representatives from around New Zealand, including Queenstown, in a series of workshops over recent months.
He will report back his findings in our Catalyst Kōrero in Queenstown on September 21.
As country lead of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Aotearoa (WEAII), his focus was what people want the economy to be and how we can build an economy that, in turn, builds the public good.
Hughes said the nationwide workshops suggested people were ready for a change in the 40-year-old economic system, as had happened in the 1890s and 1930s in response to huge challenges.
“The big question everyone is asking is, what’s next? How can we reshape a broken ‘business as usual’ economy, to deliver well-being for nature and all our people?”
As Whakatipu High School senior student Eion McGlynn said during the Queenstown workshop, the current economic system is “a game designed by the people who have already won”.
WEAII is a global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals and New Zealand is one of 15 national hubs.
Ambassadors include Kate Raworth, author of ‘Doughnut Economics’, Wales’ first Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe, ecological economist Tim Jackson and Jason Hickel, author of ‘The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions’.
Hughes will be sharing the collective findings of his workshop series with politicians at the Economy for Public Good Conference August 31 in Auckland. Perfect timing for the election.
And, after persuading him to extend his workshop series to Queenstown in late July, Catalyst Trust is delighted that he has agreed to share these findings with us on September 21.
Catalyst Trust shoulder tapped and invited applicants from the Catalyst network to take part in the July workshop, ensuring a deep and broad range of knowledge, perspectives, experience and community links could contribute to the conversation.
Among the 13 community representatives, primarily from Whakatipu but also Wānaka and Central Otago, were people with backgrounds in technology, regeneration, community support networks, Council strategy, independent science research, Māori economy, trade sector, tourism, governance, cultural sector, food rescue, academia, community advocacy and Whakatipu High School leadership.
‘What is an economy for public good? New Zealanders’ perspectives…’ Thursday, September 21, 6-7.30pm, The Rees Hotel Queenstown. Registration on this link required to secure your seat. Please bring cash for your koha, which will be given to KiwiHarvest Queenstown.