Is systemic economic change possible without collapse?

Climate change, rising inequality, and the 2007 financial crisis show how urgently we need a more sustainable model of social and economic development. But is it actually possible to change the economic system without creating even greater social and economic problems?

To answer this question, the Club of Rome commissioned an interdisciplinary and international group of experts to develop a comprehensive framework for change, and then test its viability. The group found that a successful transition requires a new cultural story, one where humanity lives in harmony with nature, and today’s social tensions are greatly reduced. But this will take many years because a number of barriers need to be overcome. Given the seriousness of the social and environmental problems, it would take too long to avoid collapse.

So society needs to buy time. It can do this by moving towards a circular economy and by transforming the economic system gradually, by restructuring finance and business, shifting to renewable energy, reforming food production and redefining the nature of work, to generate jobs and guarantee livelihoods. The technology and understanding to make these changes already exists. It is a question of social and political will.

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