11th Symposium of the Humboldt Economics Forum: Growth and/or Sustainability!? – Part I

>>> Read Part II

>>> Read Part III

by Renard Teipelke

Part I

The world struggles with major challenges ranging from the global economic crisis to terrorism and in Germany, intellectuals come together to discuss issues often pejoratively ascribed to rich countries’ ‘green agenda.’ The opposite understanding of a symposium about the relationship between growth and sustainability would be that this is the topic that needs to be addressed right now – in a time of crisis or better to say: a time of crises (economic, political, social, financial, ecological crisis). Therefore, I have to thank the students of Berlin’s Humboldt University for professionally organizing this conference for the 11th time and, once again, bringing together a distinctive group of economic, social, and political thinkers to discuss where our society is standing right now, where we came from, and in which direction we’re heading.

Needless to say, all the lecturers and panelists provided valuable insights into the various fields of their expertise – however, I would like to point out the most critical questions and opinions that were mentioned during this conference – sometimes as major messages, sometimes as diplomatic remarks. As a starting point, Professor Wolf (Humboldt University Berlin) helped us grasp theoretical principles of growth in order to pose the hardly answerable question of how much growth a democracy needs. How or can securities and liberties, stability and flexibility be balanced? Maybe he hinted to the elements of security and stability when underscoring that those countries have been economically more successful that shrank less in times of crisis instead of those countries that grew faster and bigger in times of prosperity.

Professor Emeritus Zinn (RWTH Aachen) emphasized the interrelation between sustainable growth and equal distribution. The mantra of economic growth can only be further supported if we explicitly say how and for whom this growth should take place. Zinn’s example of the unchanged design of a spoon in contrast to the regular tiny, but expensive changes to Windows operating systems illustrated his opposition to the waste of resources for pseudo-innovations.

>>> Read Part II

>>> Read Part III

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One Response to 11th Symposium of the Humboldt Economics Forum: Growth and/or Sustainability!? – Part I

  1. Pingback: 11th Symposium of the Humboldt Economics Forum: Growth and/or Sustainability!? – Part II | Place Management & Branding

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