The Nature of Prosperity conference

Peter Grimwood reports from a recent event in London:

This was an event organized by the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity and held in London on the 15th July at the Royal Institution a venue made famous by Michael Faraday. Some of us from Joy in Enough were able to attend.

The meeting took the form of a series of panel discussions on the theme of “Reviving Democracy” with a theological reflection at the close by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

A number of themes were addressed which are of central importance to Greens.

  1. How can we have a politics for the long term when our politics is so resolutely short term?
  2. How can the demos be led to an understanding of their long term best interests while avoiding accusations of a dictatorship of a privileged elite. 
  3. How can solidarity be achieved beyond the borders of the nation state?
  4. How might education be re-fashioned to enable a new kind of society to emerge?
  5. How can an emphasis on spiritual growth replace our current obsession with economic growth and what would spiritual growth mean in this context?
  6. What changes in the polity might be sought in order to restore trust and ensure that the interests of future generations are adequately represented in political discourse?

The panelists were Simon Caney; Professor of Political Theory at the University of Warwick, Jonathan Rowson, who spoke at our Bristol Joy in Enough Conference who is a CUSP fellow, Will Davies Reader in Political Economy at Goldsmiths College, Miriam Ranzoni from the university of Manchester, Isabella Ferreras from the Catholic University of Louvain and two MPs Caroline Lucas and Jesse Norman. 

Essays by some of the panelists can be found on CUSP web site. The essay by Jonathan Rowson on re-imagining education is particularly commended. In some respects he reminds me of the kind of things that used to be said by Ivan Illich in the 1970s or even John Ruskin in the nineteenth century.

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