Sustainable economy and green growth: who cares?

Sustainable economy and green growth: who cares?

Outcome document from genanet's two day international workshop on the intersection of care and the Green Economy.

Supported by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety, Genanet recently hosted a two day international workshop entitled ‘Green Economy and Green Growth - Who Cares?’. The workshop was aimed at discussing how care and the Green Economy could be brought together, with the guiding question for the workshop being whether there were already any working examples or projects in place in which economic activities have not only become greener or more sustainable, but also placed care front and centre. Additionally, further interest was focused on what kinds of relevant organisational and financial models exist, and how these could apply in different contexts.

This report draws from the work of many of the participants attending the workshop, invited from women’s organisations around the world who were in some form or other working at the intersection of the Green Economy and care. The workshop allowed for the sharing of data and experiences, and provided a space to network and perhaps initiate future cooperation.

Following an introduction including the context in which the workshop came about, Genanet’s work, and a glossary in which the working definitions (and the problems therein) of Green Economy and care (amongst others) are presented, the report features numerous contributions from different authors, split into four sections: introduction; reflections on the workshop; diverse perspectives; and outlook.

Included among the contributions in the report:

  • Nidhi Tandon shows how the Care Economy and Green Economy are linked in our globalised economy, and how decreasing the ecological footprint in one part of the world in line with a low carbon economy can increase the care footprint or care burden in another part
  • Mascha Madörin examines the economic statistical data from Switzerland, with the aim of providing data on the contributions of the care economy, and thus giving evidence to the necessity of shifting the economic paradigm
  • Ipek Ilkkaracan introduces an alternative future vision for addressing the multiple systemic challenges with a new economic order complementing the Green Economy: a “Purple Economy”
  • Nicole Bidegain and Anita Nayar criticise the Green Economy concept, and explore how issues of care are linked to environmental sustainability and alternatives to the current inequitable economic model. They ask what alternatives sustainability of livelihoods and the planet promote, rather than private accumulation, growth and efficiency.
  • Thalia Kidder explains how Oxfam reacted to constraints by designing and implementing a ‘rapid care analysis’ tool for use in development programmes.

The workshop raised many issues, established some form of common ground, provided some answers, but it also raised more questions. The final section examines these more closely, with an interview with Eleanor Blomstrom and Marcela Tovar in which they examine the potential costs of increased job opportunities for women in a Green Economy, and a contribution from Ulrike Röhr in which practitioners encouraged to keep the ball rolling and contribute to furthering this debate.

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