Skip to the content

Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight. Subscribe here to join my journey.

Nuance and conflict

 

I've been thinking a lot recently about nuance and conflict.

At the core of the biggest challenges humanity needs to navigate is a conflict of economics: Is human prosperity inevitably linked to economic growth?

Out of that question comes many more, some even more philosophical. For example: what is "prosperity". In our prevailing linear economy we equate prosperity with material wealth. Yet, even hard core growth economists will agree there are (or perhaps more accurately they will argue about the specifics of) nuances and complexities in simply using GDP to measure prosperity.

These debates have and will continue to rage for many human generations. And I do not pretend to have anything new to add.

My main conclusion is very simple. It is not possible that 'growth' (measured by things like increase in GDP) is automatically and indefinitely linked to 'prosperity' (measured by things like health and happiness).

Therefore, understanding all the specifics matter less than moving on to alternatives.

This may seem all very theoretical or academic to some.

Yet this chain of thought leads directly to very specific actions in my life and my business. Actions that, in turn, affect my personal and business material wealth in ways that feel negative. But actions that also massively increase all the things that, if you believe the song, money cannot buy.

It also leads me to being more than convinced that a circular economy is an exciting prospect - despite, perhaps because of, the complexity and nuance involved.