JOEL MAGNUSON, Ph.D. is an independent economist based in Portland, Oregon, USA. He is the author of Mindful Economics: How the U.S. Economy Works, Why it Matters, and How It Could Be Different (Seven Stories Press, 2008), The Approaching Great Transformation: Toward a Livable Post-Carbon Economy (Seven Stories, 2013) as well numerous articles in journals and anthologies in the US, Europe, and Japan. His newest book, From Greed to Wellbeing , is forthcoming by The Policy Press, 2016.
He has also authored numerous journal articles and anthology pieces that have appeared in publications around the world including:
- The Collaborative Enterprise (Oxford,UK)
- Interconnections (Cambridge,UK)
- East West Interconnect (Hungary)
- Society and Economy (Hungary)
- The World (Japan)
MINDFUL ECONOMICS is a movement toward an alternative
economic future. It is an approach to economic theory and practice that is dedicated to institutional reform based on the following:
- Democratically self-reliant and locally sufficient economic systems thrive as they are held together by a vibrant local culture.
- The work of people contributes to the vibrancy of local cultures by integrating aesthetic creativity with work skills and technology, and the potential for human productivity is developed through a revitalization and celebration of craft traditions and reskilling.
- Local cultures connect self-fulfillment with healthy lifestyles and a restored public life through active local citizenship.
- Citizens develop local institutions that defend human dignity and imagination.
- Citizens develop local institutions that provide economic stability and fairness by structuring ownership within their communities and protect people’s livelihoods.
- Local institutions foster resource stewardship and create ecological stability by permanently situating local production systems within the carrying capacity of their natural habitats.
The central premise of mindful economics is that the dominant institutions in most so-called developed economies have created severely destructive social and environmental conditions including resource depletion, food shortages, global warming, vast inequality of wealth and income distribution, and financial instability. As national governments have proven to be unreliable in addressing these problems, citizens must confront them directly by developing alternative institutions in their communities. Finding another path that leads away from these destructive conditions can happen, but it will require that people embrace institutional and culture change. The most likely place to start is in their communities where they have the best chance of success and can experience the results of their efforts directly. Real change requires that we remain mindful–clearly focused and purposeful–in our daily economic activities.