I have been participating in a group that was reading Complexity: A Guided Tour, by Melanie Mitchell. In one of our last sessions we set the book aside and explored the complexity of the supply chain.
One of the things I find important in relation to a 21st century economics education is systems thinking. But when discussing systems thinking with interested others I often find that it is such a huge concept.
Last weekend I watched an online lecture with the title “How We Got Addicted to Cars” brought by the University of Utrecht. The lecturer was the economist Julia Steinberger, Professor of Social Ecology and Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds.
I took something away from this lecture, that is much more profound to me than our addiction to cars, and very much in tune with the doughnut framework: The Systems of Provision Approach.
The social foundation offers ample possibilities to connect financial and economic literacy, like health, education, food, water, energy and housing. These elements correspond with economic sectors in which students engage now, and will engage more when they take the next step in their lives and have responsibility for their own household budget. That is how we came up with the idea of a series of lessons called ‘Know Your Economy’.
Recently, I had an interesting discussion with a teacher in higher education. He had a classroom discussion about deforestation and his students were rather blasé about the topic. Their standpoint was that if you cut down a tree, you simply replant it elsewhere, so what is the problem. I mean, you can compensate your aviation kilometers too by planting trees, or not?
The last few weeks I have been deep into footprints in general and the water footprint in particular. It feels like I have to climb out of the rabbit hole. But not until I shared the Water Scarcity Atlas with you.
As you may have understood from my previous posts, I am in the process of describing an industry from the perspective of the doughnut framework. This is part three.
About two weeks ago I made a start with describing an industry from a doughnut perspective. In this post I focus on the waterfootprint of cotton.
Recently I caught myself describing an industry in the old fashioned way. I focussed on the number of people employed in the industry, its contribution to GDP, and, in order to typify the market structure, I tried to find the most up to date information on market shares and company size.
But then it hit me: I was doing what I have always done, whereas we now need a different perspective on industries: a doughnut perspective.
One of the things we have discussed over the last few months is the concept of value. The question ‘what is value’ is such a philosophical question. It is often assumed that economists believe price to be equal to value, but if that was so, why would we have the concept of willingness to pay?