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Opinion: The problems in Sweden are the problems in the world

Stephen Hinton 2016, photo Maj-Lis Koivisto

With the coalition of the left’s 144 seats in parliament and the right-wing block’s 143, and with the ultra-right wing Sweden Democrats left out of the block, many might be wondering whatever happened to the cozy social democratic, progressive Sweden held up as a model of a modern welfare state. Read More…

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The future is circular! And training is free – mostly

Stephen Hinton Consulting, together with the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation are pleased to announce the launch of a new training site:

http://circleeconomy.tssef.se

Together we aim to help you in your role as business leader, policy maker or entrepreneur to understand the basics of the circular economy to be ahead of coming legislation and to prepare your organisation to thrive in this new situation.

The new site offers short lessons in a wide range of circle-economy related subjects such as:

  • understanding the role of nutrients
  • the three key elements of the circular economy
  • seven points of intersection
  • putting circularity into the balance sheet
  • policy makers: matching market based instruments and the demands of the circular economy

We need peace not growth. Just do a search and replace.

We did the following thought experiment: we replaced the word growth  or economic growth with peace in excerpts from statutes and statements from some main global organisations. Take a look. Is it in improvement? Maybe you agree with us that Peace is the thing we need to focus on!

Read More…

OPINION: Business as usual destroys more capital than it creates.

Stephen Hinton, photo Maj-Lis Koivisto

Business schools purvey the amassed experience of successful entrepreneurs from the last few hundred years. The problem with that is this experience is based on the availability of increasingly vast quantities of energy and cheap raw materials, along with licence to basically release waste straight out into the environment. This two century’s worth of “business” experience treats nature as an unlimited resource store and waste dump. An out-of-date mindset. We have moved on. There is a need for a new way of doing business: a system that takes into account the limitations of the planet and needs to maintain human well-being. That system is called circular economy. Read More…

Can we save the Baltic and improve our economy?

 

Stephen Hinton is a member of the board of the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation and specializes in aligning environmental concerns with fiscal systems. He has been involved in several projects, including with the Nordic Council of Ministers, to explore the possibility of using market forces to drive a circular economy for nutrients. One of the Foundation’s recent initiatives is a role-play/business game that explores the assumptions behind fiscal instrument application and sustainable technology investment decisions. These simulations reveal a wealth of insight into possibilities to change economic paradigms.

Stephen’s presentation focuses on the fiscal approaches to overcoming barriers including:

  • Behaviour: How to make doing right cheaper
  • Information:Opportunities arising from the digitalised economy
  • Efficacy:Where to apply instruments to encourage circularity
  • Investment:Using money collected from fees to overcome investment barriers
  • Political resistance: Ways to gaining political acceptance for extra charges
  • Public Opinion: Different effects on public opinion and behaviour.

Climate change and growth – Nordhaus and Romer

Micheal Roberts skillful analysis of the overlap (or lack of overlap) between the economics view of climate change and IPCC. A must read!

Michael Roberts Blog

It is both appropriate and Ironic that, on the day that William Nordhaus should get the Riksbank prize (also called Nobel) for his contribution to the economics of climate change, the top scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), should release its latest update on global warming.  The report sets out the key practical differences between the Paris agreement’s two contrasting goals: to limit the increase of human-induced global warming to well below 2℃, and to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5℃.

The IPCC says that if we are to limit warming to 1.5℃, we must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030, reaching near-zero by around 2050. Whether we are successful primarily depends on the rate at which government and non-state bodies take action to reduce emissions. Yet despite the urgency, current national pledges under the Paris Agreement are not enough to remain within a…

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Focussing on creativity rather than skill – the art of Transition?

This summer I had the pleasure of attending a rather unusual type of art class: the lessons were about creativity with basically nothing taught about actual painting. That’s right. I spent a lot of time in front of a canvas with brushes I knew very little about how to use and paint I knew even less about. And I learnt more than I could have dreamed of, even painted some paintings. Read More…

Explaining the extractive economy as embedded mindset

Extractive economy is business-as-usual and the mental model taught in business schools. It is not called that of course, but examining any business textbook will reveal that the mental model – or paradigm – of extraction is underlying most teaching. This article aims to explain in clear terms what extractive models are, point out some of the shortcomings  and hopefully opens up to the possibility of other, more functional, models. Read More…

Putting a price on phosphorus: links and publications

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  1. Phosphorus is mined and processed into fertilizer along with other nutrients like potassium and nitrogen.
  2. Applied to the fields, it is incorporated into vegetables and sold direct or as animal feed.
  3. Phosphorus leaks from agriculture into waterways and is exported to shops as food.
  4. Consumers purchase food for consumption.
  5. Phosphorus leaves the body mainly as urine.
  6. Sewage is processed at water purification plants.
  7. Some phosphorus is dumped as waste from purification, some ends up in waterways.
  8. Eventually phosphorus travels to the sea.
  9. Some phosphorus can be recovered from the sea-bed, most remains in the sea. New technology is being tested to restore seabeds and recover nutrients. Read More…

Monetary theory and a safe house for humanity

Could it be so that it is a badly-constructed monetary system that is holding humanity back in its shared project of peace on Earth? Or at least this miss-construction is not doing us any good? Marc Gauvin, money theoretician and author of two websites Money Transparency and  Bibo Currency offers some interesting angles on money as a system. In recent correspondence, he suggested that the money system itself impacts peace negatively, but the system could be adapted to be a peace-promoting tool for humanity. We’ll lay out the ideas here and look forward to hearing your comments in the comments box below. Read More…