2016/07/27 09:50 Panel on “Economics, Ethics, and Policy”, ISSS 2016 Boulder

Plenary @ISSSMeeting panel @EJKucinich John Fullerton @MyBlueEconomy Alec Tsoucatos, plenary #isss2016USA, 60th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences and 1st Policy Congress of ISSS, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Day 3 theme:  Cultural, Ethical, and Economic Wisdom

Plenary V: Making Sense in Economics, Ethics, and Policy

  • Description: We need to examine the foundation of our global economic system that assumes unlimited growth in a finite world, to consider the paradigmsof regenerative capital, steady-state economics, and innovation. This means considering no-growth and negative-growth models, and perhaps shifting our concept of growth from quantity to quality, from extraction to investment in natural and human capital.

Chair: Mila Popovitch, University of Colorado, Boulder

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Panelists: Elizabeth Kucinich; John Fullerton; Gunter Pauli and Alec Tsoucatos, chair Mila Popovitch

[Question of panel]

Trickster (come back to this)

[Mila Popovitch introduction]

Elizabeth Kucinich

  • Activist, working in DC
  • Policy, film production
  • Now raising a farm
  • Working with husband, Democratic candidate

[Elizabeth Kucinich]

Acknowledge John Barstfield professor on paradox, ability to grasp the extremes

  • Committed suicide, as hard to deal with
  • Course:  Understanding Other Cultures
  • John taught how to think
  • Opportunity help people to think differently

Move from heads to hearts

  • Need to connect to solar plexus
  • Need action

Think of ourselves as a whole living system

Mother instilled desperation

  • Always turn a negative thought into a positive action
  • We don’t have to dwell on negative, we can transform it into a different possibility

Healthcare:  disease management, we need to suppress you

  • Systems approach, understand boosting immune system

Human relations

  • Government in war on terror
  • Suppress others for us to blossom


  • Credit
  • Came to U.S. to work on monetary policy, Forum for Stable Currencies
  • What is activity, the thing upriver, causing devastation?
  • Believe it’s a system design issue
  • Instead of a mutual design of money as abundance, have debt
  • An attack on abundance, from wealth and credit to debt

Field is food and agricultural policy

  • Need to suppress
  • Need to understand the system, the way the world feeds itself

Turn those negative thoughts into positive action


  • Maybe we have 100 harvests in those fields, left
  • Nutrient values are going down
  • Adding more and more synthetic fertilizers
  • Fields as carbon pumps rather than carbon sinks
  • Carbon is a free resource up there in the atmosphere
  • Turn climate warming into bringing it down

[Gunter as moderator]

Three introductory thoughts

The first time doing 3-D farming, first time beyond 2-D

  • Tragedy of the commons
  • Herding sheep:  if can do in public land in the Netherlands, it doesn’t cost to add 20 sheep (as would everyone else) — invisible hand destroys the commons
  • As human beings, went from 4 limbs to standing up:  took the risk of being slower, so that we could carry, with the invention of the bag, where we could stuff 15 times more than we could eat, then children get love from daddy bringing
  • Brain development, we could sing and dance before speaking
  • Neanderthal brain is 20% larger, our brain is shrinking due our lack of love, shrinking where emotions are
  • Love can convert us to the new industry

New child

  • Created a crib, woven bamboo without metal
  • Cover with raw silk, no virus
  • New industry, weaving the traditional
  • Relaunching bamboo and silk production

Turn the negative into the positive

  • Tsunami and shrimp farms
  • Regenerating mangroves with channels, so water can go through
  • Have re-established mangroves, with shrimp in the middle, don’t have to feed the shrimp
  • Disagree with the capitalist limitation
  • Have to do this with nature’s unlimited capital

In America, hero is Bren Smith, 3D fish form in New Haven

  • We need to eat the bottom of the sea, not the top
  • Go back to shellfish and kelp, they give us the chemistry

Healthcare: Las Gaviotas, 35 years after it all started

  • Regenerative systems in practice
  • Pull refugees into forest
  • 35 years ago, no roads, government absent, ecological disaster
  • We see opportunities to regenerate
  • Little forests around the villages, to regenerate the whole forest
  • Understand the details:  fungi
  • Yale School of Forestry wrote that PH4 is wasted
  • Have reforested, PH 7.2
  • Drench trees in micro-rhizomes
  • Thanks to regeneration of forests, we have bottled water, get 90% free, sell 10% to cities
  • Give bicycles free to children
  • Closed the hospital due to lack of patients

[Louis Klein]

Still operating in the framework of the Enlightenment, overburdening the individual.  Organize for collective responsibility?  Heard a lot more about thinking within.  Politics refer to small groups.  Aristotle and Confucius found frame of reference.  Power of context stronger than the power of intentions.  There’s no right life or wrong one.  We have to acknowledge that we’re not living in ancient structures.  What we see in global politics and global economy, we have emergence, dealing on a different logic.


#isss, #isss2016