Since founding Ouishare nine years ago changing the economic system stayed central to solving the biggest problems of our time. In 2020, buzzwords like Sharing Economy, Collaborative Economy, Circular Economy, Feminist Economy or Wellbeing Economy have become mainstream but the challenges have become even more pressing.
So how can we keep up our hopes and accelerate real economic system change? We asked Diego Isabel La Moneda, new economy catalyst from the New Economy and Social Innovation (NESI) Global Forum.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a Climate change report in October 2018, showing that things are looking very dire. How can we still make a difference?
More than ever I know in my heart, that this is the moment for change. More than I can explain it with words, I feel it in my guts. We need to move from protest to proposals. We have to stop being anti-something and start to create real alternatives. We need to challenge the main assumptions of the current system. For example, SDG 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth” shouldn’t be generalized. Economic growth is a tool and we need to determine how to use it properly. We need to ask ourselves where we do indeed need growth but also where de-growth serves us better.
Why is wellbeing central for the change that you are proposing? How is your definition of it different from the wellness and self-care lifestyle of an egocentric society?
Wellbeing in Spanish is translated with “bienestar”, which relates to welfare. To really farewell, feel truly well we have to take a more spiritual approach: What is life? Why are we here? As human beings, we need to be well with ourselves to be able to then love and help others. Wellbeing is connected to lifestyle insofar as it is connected to the economy. We know that consuming more doesn’t make us happier. True wellbeing goes beyond the individual. It is not possible to feel well on a planet that is not a healthy planet.
Wellbeing is connected to lifestyle insofar as it is connected to the economy. We know that consuming more doesn’t make us happier. True wellbeing goes beyond the individual. It is not possible to feel well on a planet that is not a healthy planet.
How can we truly catalyze system change to create more sustainable, democratic, fair and people-centered societies?
All the big problems we are trying to solve, like climate change, gender inequality or migration, are connected to the economy. To fundamentally change the current economic system we have to bring everyone to the table and walk the talk.
I believe that to overcome the biggest challenges of our time, three movements will be key: women, youth and elders. At the moment we can see that the two first groups are already activated (#metoo and school climate strikes). Elders need to join the movement because they are where we all are going. All of us are, hopefully, going to become old and we want to have rights, pensions, healthy life and meaningful connections. We can’t afford to overlook their perspectives and knowledge.
I believe that to overcome the biggest challenges of our time, three movements will be key: women, youth and elders.
The barriers to creating fundamental change are mostly in our minds. We think we cannot do it, we feel overwhelmed by economic and political power. Everything changes and we have to trust ourselves that we can create the direction of the change. Maybe the lack of confidence is the main challenge to address, in ourselves as citizens and as human beings. The planet is already here, even if human beings won’t survive, the planet will survive. We need to be brave and be brave enough to deserve to be here.
How did you come up with NESI Forum and what is the idea behind it?
There is a plurality of new economy movements that are working on tackling the economy as the root of the biggest problems of our time and we felt a need for a forum for the different actors to meet and join forces. So in April 2017, we launched the first NESI forum with 700 attendants from 40 different countries to understand what we can do together that we cannot do by ourselves. Because we realized that we cannot change the economic system in the way that we want on our own. Now it is two years later and we need to step beyond connecting and exchanging to create true impact.
How is NESI Forum 2019 different from other conferences?
NESI Forum will foster collaboration and co-creation to put our talk into action. There will be six tracks, three around the basic human needs: food, shelter and clothing and three around tools: energy, finance and work. The event is set in an imaginary desirable future in 2030 and participants design the journey to get there. We won’t only come together to discuss, we will create concrete work-streams. Through the forum, we connect different movements, NGOs, students, entrepreneurs to work together on projects to contribute to the global vision but make it local and specific. Instead of concentrating on problems and limitations we will start the event with a session to dream up an ideal city in 2030, then move into designing the journey to get there and finally formulate the dos, a message to the people that still live in the economic past on how to get there as actionable work-streams.
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Photo credit: Ouishare