As founder and manager of the Econotwist’s, I believe in free markets and individuals rights to choose — in both life and business.
However, for a society to be functional it has to be organized within a steady framework of rules. And these rules have to be accepted and respected by all.
My fundamental view is very much the same as the ancient Greek philosophers; that the Universe, the Earth and everything on it is ruled by the same set of basic constant physical and mathematical laws. We do not understand how everything works, and we have to accept that we probably never will.
But one thing is clear; everything is connected somehow.
Today we are in the middle of a three-part crisis that has the potential to destroy the future of our planet forever, or save it.
The social crisis is causing anger and riots, as food prices soar and the gap between rich and poor just keeps getting bigger.
The environmental crisis has already extinguished one-third of all species on Earth, and we are about to choke ourselves to death with over-consumption and pollution.
Finally the financial crisis: it should be evident by now that our economic and monetary system is not sustainable.
We need to come up with something completely different.
To be able to do that, we have to change our mindset and figure out new definitions of progress, wealth and success.
For this to be a fair and successful process, we need to get involved. Not only in politics, waste management or fundraising for the poor and homeless. But also in the financial markets.
We cannot let a handful of people gain total control over such an influential part of our lives as the financial markets and get away with all the profits. We just cannot.
Neither can we continue to borrow our way out of financial problems.
The average global leverage today is about 60 to 1 – it means for ever dollar, pound or euro you may have on your savings account, you have 60 that’s borrowed.
This is not sustainable.
Last, but not least, our environment – the Eco-system: We have already extinct one-third of all species on Earth, and we’re about to run out of food, oil and basic raw materials. Every year we consume four times more than the Earth is able to produce.
If this exploitation of natural resources doesn’t stop now, quite soon we won’t have any economy to manage. We won’t have anything.
If there’s ever been a time to mobilize – it’s now.
We won’t be able to repair the damage already done, but we can change the way we think and behave. By doing so we might gradually turn towards a sustainable economy and lifestyle. There is no other way.
It’s all a matter of attitude.