In October 2019, Sustainable & Just Economic Systems programme Representative Joachim Monkelbaan gave a presentation at the annual conference of the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN). The title of this presentation was “Transformative changes for sustainable development: economic, social, ecological, and governance dimensions.” He started by stating that capitalism is increasingly being questioned. Corporate concentration is on the rise, especially in the digital economy. A small minority of the population is reaping the majority of the benefits of innovation and globalization. At the same time, we see increasing emissions and materials use, and declining biodiversity with 1 million species about to go extinct. We all know that our societies are now unsustainable, that we need radical change to become sustainable, but for now come with proposals that are more politically acceptable as a step towards that radical change.
Joachim argued that we need global solutions for global problems. We should also think beyond dominant economic theories and paradigms and have more humane approaches based on progressing behavioral insights (for example, people are in general more geared towards collaboration than competition). He concluded by saying that we need a fresh look at the world and at what people can do together when we commit to our common dreams and aspirations for a more just and sustainable world.