Building a 4D Economy
This is our vision for a Diversified, Decarbonised, Democratised and Decentralised Economy.
The biggest issues of our time are inextricably tied to the way our economy is structured. Our current economic system produces and reproduces inequality, environmental degradation and social stratification.
Over the past ten years, the gap between the richest in society and the rest of the population has widened, so that the richest 10% of households own 43% of Britain’s wealth; while the poorer half of the population own only 9%. These wealth inequalities are directly correlated with other marginalised characteristics – such as race, disability and gender.
The climate emergency is the biggest challenge of our time, while the pillars of our economic system rest on environmental destruction. ‘Dig-make-use-discard’ structures the bulk of our wealth and investment markets remain dominated by the fossil fuel sector.
As we write this, the UK faces a growing cost of living crisis, in which energy companies are making record profits from people who are choosing between paying their bills and buying food. Those same energy systems are not making the necessary transition away from fossil fuels.
This is the outcome of an economic system that serves neither people nor the planet.
What do we mean by the 4D economy
Democratising the economy
Power in our economy is largely in the hands of a few institutions and large corporations, with little opportunity for those outside of this bubble to have their say.
A fair economy would offer a range of ways for people to have a say in economic decision-making. This could be by upending the current power structures or by creating channels to involve the everyday person. By creating these opportunities we can foster a sense of ownership and accountability for all.
Decarbonising the economy
We need to decarbonise our entire economy, and quickly. Siloed activities from individuals and businesses won’t turn back the tide. There needs to be a strong impetus to remove fossil fuels from investment portfolios.
Governments need to incentivise and support the changes and we need to find other ways to power our energy and transport systems in particular. Crucially, all of these changes need to happen in a way that doesn’t disadvantage the communities that are currently being marginalised by our economic and social systems.
Decentralising the economy
We need to break up the concentrations of economic power in our country. The flow of wealth and opportunity currently flows away from local communities, to a few geographical locations. We need to build wealth across the UK and retain that value locally.
Diversifying the economy
We want the decision-makers in our economic systems to have a diversity of thought and experience that fairly reflects our society. We believe this is how we will create an economy that is better and fairer.
Voices that have been sidelined in our economic system need to be given the opportunity to contribute to the economic system they have long been subject to.
If you found this page interesting, you may want to look at some of the pieces below.
Developing resilient local economies: good practice among local enterprise partnerships
Our project builds upon emerging thinking about the kind of post-recession economy we are building in Britain, and the kind of economic growth that we are seeking to achieve.