This site will serve a gathering place to process post-pandemic economic and social change. Our online conversations will be rooted in ecological economics and feature a rotation of experts from around the world.
Sign up for our online conversations:
The content of our discussions
Processing elements of a life-affirming economy + society
Ecological economics is a trans-disciplinary field that acts as a bridge across not only ecology and economics but also psychology, anthropology, and history. The field considers how economics is embedded in the broader ecosystem that supports all human activity. The limits to economic growth are considered along with opportunities to improve the well-being of the human and the non-human.
For decades, it has been challenging to consider how society can simultaneously consume less but improve overall well-being. The term "post-growth" is an umbrella for various approaches to this unifying emphasis on well-being: degrowth, steady-state economics, political ecology, voluntary simplicity, among others. Each of these approaches is an attempt to animate sustainability and social-ecological resilience. At their best, these ideas support one another.
In practice: the transition to well-being over income
Today, the world is suddenly experiencing a slower pace of life. While the conditions are less-than-ideal, this moment presents us with an opportunity to put life in perspective:
While responsible business practices, policies, and appropriate technology may all serve to address contemporary constraints, we've also proven that we can shift our behaviour when life is at stake. How can this shift in behaviour and culture be sustained in ways that maintain peace and transcend old political divides?
The transition will not be easy, but it may be the best way forward.
James has studied and taught in the field of ecological economics and social entrepreneurship for over a decade. He is a PhD researcher at McGill University, and an Instructor at Canadian Mennonite University.
He previously researched how the debt-based money system influences social and ecological dynamics; now he's studying the roles that emotional processing and eco-anxiety play in fostering (or preventing) necessary social change. See "Ecological Existential Dread: We Need to Talk About Our Feelings."
- PhD researcher, McGill University, in the Natural Resource Science department's Leadership for the Ecozoic program
- Research Fellow, Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE)
- Instructor, Canadian Mennonite University / Co-director, CMU Centre for Resilience
- Board Director, Assiniboine Credit Union
- Strategic Advisor, CAST Inc. (Creative Applications for Sustainable Technologies)
- Strategic Advisor, Manoverboard Design
- Co-founder, Fools + Horses Coffee
- Co-chair, Transition Winnipeg
- Board Director, Green Action Centre / Compost Winnipeg
- Financial Counselor and Estate Manager, LC Taylor, Trustee in Bankruptcy
- Policy and communications positions with lawmakers and advocacy organizations, including the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
- Worked in the communications industry as an editor and translator in Asia
- Named one of Manitoba's "Future 40 Under 40" (2015)
- PhD (in progress), McGill University, studying the role of emotional processing in fostering social change
- MPhil, Cambridge University, where I studied the dynamics of the global banking system and its impact on the environment
- BA in Political Studies (Hons), Theatre (Hons; Gold Medal), and Rhetoric & Communications, University of Winnipeg