Here at nef, we like to talk about the triple crunch: the interlinked crises of climate change, economic meltdown and diminuishing supplies of fossil fuels. But that’s not the whole story. The breakdown in economic consensus in the wake of the credit crunch points towards other crunches: evapourating trust in established politics and a coming ‘social’ crunch, as the gap between rich and poor gets wider.
Our friends at Compass will be exploring these latter aspects of our current predicament at their major conference No Turning Back happening later this month. The aim is to forge a new political and economic settlement for the 21st century with democracy, equality and sustainability at its heart.
nef will be joining the fray. Our policy director Andrew Simms will proudly commit what he calls ‘the final heresy’ by questioning the justifications behind economic growth. Juliet Michaelson, a researcher at nef‘s centre for well-being and one of the brains behind our National Accounts of Well-being, will be talking about work, happiness and democracy. And finally Dr Stephen Spratt, nef‘s chief economist, probably won’t be grieving too much as he joins a panel on The Death of the Free Market.
Non-nef highlights include Jon Cruddas MP, Chukku Umana, Billy Hayes of the CWU, Prof Richard Wilkinson and Dr Kate Pickett (authors of The Spirit Level), Polly Toynbee and John Harris of the Guardian, Nick Hildyard from The Corner House, and plenty more besides.
Tickets for the conference are going quickly, so make sure you book as soon as possible if you want to be there.