What is wrong with today's world? Might it be that we took a wrong path a hundred years ago, but that now we have a second chance to get it right? That is the simple but challenging thesis of this conference, with the aim of exploring the economic and historical insights of Rudolf Steiner2, to see if humanity can yet find a path that is truer to its possibilities.
The First World War ended in a way that saw responsibility for modern historical development being ‘captured’ by the Anglo-American peoples. Since then, the world has been subject to globalization, rampant corporate economics, endless war and a constant division of the world into two camps. Now, all is coming unravelled, with a growing divide between the rulers and the ruled, and macro policy in increasing disarray. On the other hand, everywhere people are searching for new ideas and new economic pathways, ideally based on free initiative and responsibility for one's own balance sheet – meaning the need to find the right types and amounts of capital.
Why is this happening now? Because, surely, now is the time when we can understand better the importance of individuals using their unique skills and capacities to serve their communities. And for communities, in turn, to capitalize them so that they are able to serve.
Now especially is a time when, in terms of open access to credit and effective financial literacy, firmer foundations can be given to the undertakings of young people and social entrepreneurs alike. So that through entrepreneurship and its universal language, accounting, our micro actions can give rise to a new macro landscape.
This conference will bring together people who are looking for or pioneering such change. Through engaged participation and dramatized expression of the themes, back-grounded by two keynote talks by economic and monetary historian, Christopher Houghton Budd, Ph.D, we will explore our understanding of the last one hundred years and the prospects for change based on associative economics. In particular, we will have the chance to focus on two specific themes – rethinking the economics of labor, introduced through a research presentation by economist Marcelo Delajara – and the economics of farming with introductory considerations offered by Anna Chotzen.