9 October 2010

Sat. Oct 16, 2010: Developing a Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy for NJ

Posted by Admin under: Economy; Energy; Events; Forum; Future; Policy; Sustainability .

One of the greatest challenges we face in society is re-orienting our economic thinking, and translating what are becoming the increasingly obvious facts of planetary distress into concrete policies that move in a more sustainable direction.

We will be discussing this on Saturday, October 16, from 1-4 at the Morris County Library, with a special focus on the paper recently co-authored with the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at Fairleigh Dickinson University, “Developing and Implementing a Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy for New Jersey.”  Our discussion will be the second of several events in which we seek to devise a strategy to incorporate major elements of sustainability into economic policy in NJ. (We invite you to download this paper by clicking on the link above, and read it before the session.)

We began this conversation publicly on October 6 at Ramapo College, by saying that

Traditional economics offers no viable models for growing out of the current economic crisis. Cutting deficits and balancing the state budget are important in the long run, but do not stimulate economic growth in any direct way. But while we can’t go back to the old models of consumer debt, consumer demand, cheap fossil fuels, and accumulating wastes, we can find a new path to sustainable growth, the growth of the new Green Economy and of sustainable lifestyles, manufacturing, and economic prosperity.

The discussion was wide-ranging, insightful, and informative. A large number of people are ready for a more in-depth discussion of these issues.

The need to change the way we think, measure, evaluate, and behave in the face of today’s “great economic recession” is real. We need economic growth, but the right kind of kind of growth, the kind that builds a foundation for a sustainable future. We need to enhance our competitiveness in building an increasingly green, eco-friendly, ecologically regenerative economy. We need to become more efficient, cleaner, and more effective at creating enduring prosperity for people, and not simply cycles of boom and bust that skew the distribution of wealth.

Without increasing prosperity, and the possibility of social improvement, the “American Dream” becomes an unattainable and implausible ideal. Instead, conflict, austerity, unemployment, and a “race to the bottom” become the reality, even as policymakers try desperately to put a positive spin on this. More Americans have descended into poverty, losing their homes, their health care, the value of their retirement accounts, and their sense of self-worth than at any time since the Great Depression. Yet sustainable prosperity is literally around the corner, if we have the will, the wisdom, and the intelligence to invest in it.

Please join us for this discussion, and add your ideas, insights, and knowledge to the process of re-imagining New Jersey as a sustainable state, beyond the partisan rhetoric and the traditional economic divisions—and help us to influence public policy.


Please RSVP to [email protected]. The Morris County Library is at 30 Hanover Avenue, Whippany, NJ 07981. It’s about 10 minutes from the Morristown train station, and we’ll arrange to pick you up on the way if you’re coming by public transit (please email Jonathan Cloud at [email protected] or call (908) 396-6179 for assistance). The program runs from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Conference Room.

Members and first-time guests are free; otherwise attendance is $20 per session or annual membership starts at $25 with volunteer time, up to $195, which includes our monthly meetings. (Fees waived or reduced for those with extenuating circumstances.)

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Past Events

Correction: We'll be hosting this year's holiday potluck — "Bringing Solar Power Home for the Holidays" — on Saturday, December 15, 2012 from 4 to 9 p.m. Click here for more details. RSVP to [email protected].
Saturday, November 17, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Sustainable Neighborhood & Community Conversations (III).
Saturday, October 13, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Transforming Neighborhoods and Communities II.
Saturday, September 8, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Transforming Neighborhoods & Communities.
Saturday, June 16, 2012: SLF Potluck June 16: Sustainable Living Communities.
The Sustainable Haiti Conference took place April 23-25, 2012 in Miami.
"Inside Job" Movie Party. Saturday, February 11th, 6:00 PM, Liberty Ridge, The Hills, Bernards Twp, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.
2nd 'Buy Haitian, Restore Haiti Conference', January 26, 2012, Karibe Convention Center, Petion Ville, Haiti
Dec 11 SLF Potluck: "Bringing Sustainability Home for the Holidays" Basking Ridge, NJ. RSVP to [email protected].
Saturday, July 9, 2011, 4 p.m. Open House Party & Potluck, Saturday, July 9, 4 p.m., Basking Ridge, NJ.
RSVP to [email protected]
Saturday, May 21, 1-4 p.m. EcoCenter Update. At the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.
Saturday, April 16, 1-4 p.m. "Haiti & Us: The Leading Edge of Sustainable Development." At the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. A copy of the update presentation has been posted here.
Saturday, March 19, 1-4 p.m. "Creating the Morristown EcoCenter." Held at 55 Bank Street, Morristown, the site of the proposed EcoCenter.
Saturday, February 19, 1-4 p.m. Monthly meeting, ""A Profound Transformation in Consciousness," Morris County Library, Whippany, NJ. Click here for details.
Saturday, January 15, 1-4 p.m. Putting Idealism into Practice: Tour of Half Moon House. Click here for details.
Saturday, December 18, 1-4 p.m. Challenge & Strategy Session: "Reinventing Wealth," followed by our annual "Potluck for the Planet" from 4 to 8. Click here for details.
Saturday, November 20, 1-4 p.m. Challenge & Strategy Session: "How Do We Measure Sustainable Value?". Click here for details.
Saturday, October 16, 1-4 p.m. Challenge and Strategy Session: "Toward a Sustainable Growth Strategy for New Jersey".
Download the slide presentation here, and the discussion paper here.

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(Thomas A. Edison—thanks to Regan Caton)

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