“The Viable Economy” (2014), a pamphlet for everyone concerned about the dangers we face from the current unviable economic system and who would like to explore an approach that integrates economic, social and ecological well-being. (Summary)
In Place of Growth: Practical steps to a Manchester where people thrive without harming the planet. Publication date, 13 November, 2012. [or read without downloading]
How do we create a society with local prosperity and justice? How do we prepare
for the challenges that climate change and other aspects of the ecological crisis
are already bringing?
In June 2012 members of what became Steady State Manchester were involved
in discussions with Manchester City Council about the idea of a Steady State
Economy. While these discussions were open and amicable, we decided that
more work was needed to articulate the arguments for Steady State in ways that
were appropriate and practical for Manchester. We also wanted to broaden the
discussion to include other stake-holders from business (both private and co-operatively run), civil society and academia. This report is a first step in meeting
both these aims.
Living Well: Practical Solidarity and Steady State Economics. Publication date, 13 November, 2012.
Though the link between steady state economics and international
solidarity may not be immediately obvious, the two issues are closely
connected in many ways. Steady state economics is all about local and
regional economies and learning to be more self-sufficient, but that
doesn’t mean we stop caring about those beyond our borders. The de-linking of Manchester’s economy from the global economy has to happen
with one eye on our local communities and another on the underprivileged
communities that the global system of trade currently has in its fold. As
such, one important question that we have to answer when looking at
steady-state economies is: how do we manage the transition to steady
state in ways that minimises exploitation of people of the global South,
and also minimise the shocks to their economies and livelihoods?
A short policy pamphlet, December, 2016.
Housing in the Viable Economy
So what would we do? Towards an alternative strategy for the city region
It is easy to be critical. We are critical of the way our city and regional leaders have generally tackled the difficult problem of economic, social and environmental viability. We see their approach as based on a fundamentally flawed model that puts the economy first and attempts to restore economic growth to our post-industrial city region in the context of a competitive global order. No doubt this is motivated by concern for the people of the city region, their livelihoods and the future of them and their children, but we question whether the strategies will lead to improvements in overall social, economic and environmental well-being.
Of related interest: A short reading list of critical resources on city-regional and other localised economies.
WHAT WORKS? Make it as easy as possible for people to change what they do..?
Written for World Symposium on Climate Change Communication, Manchester, UK, 22nd-24th February 2017. The paper explores what Steady State Manchester is learning from public health and asks how this may contribute to the work of other climate change communicators. Briefly it covers:
- How Public Health workers have
- wrestled with changing behaviour for decades;
- learned costly, time-consuming lessons – which work!
- evolved from health “educators” into health “promoters”
- Steady State Manchester’s work and how an ecological public health model helpfully informs its practice
Universal Basic Income – a participative ‘learn in’. Steady State Manchester and the Social Change and Community Wellbeing research group at MMU held a ‘learn in’ about UBI on September 8th 2016. People came from all sorts of organisations (or from none) and with different background knowledge of UBI. universal-basic-income-learn-in-summary
In Place of Pay Inequality is a detailed study by Steady State Manchester and Equality NW into the pay policies of Local Authorities in the North West. March, 2014. Launch, April 2, 2014
“It is rigorous, highlights important info well, well written and theoretically ground-breaking in terms of bringing together SSE, social value and equity issues.”
The report also explores,
– How public sector pay policies might play a leading role in making Manchester a more equal place.
– Ways to strengthen the accountability of Local Authorities for their pay policies and encourage them to implement stronger policies to reduce
pay inequality within their workforce and via their suppliers in the wider local economy.
Downloads SUMMARY FULL REPORT FULL REPORT (larger font version)
Shaping the Viable Economy: The role of education
We are delighted that SSM has inspired Susan Brown to write: How can education help to shape a Steady State culture? A Discussion Paper’. We highly recommend that supporters read it. Below, and in more detail in the summary at the beginning of the paper, we draw your attention to its richness and contribute to the discussion that she advocates.
Briefly Susan’s paper
- Argues that a learning renaissance is required to achieve a Steady State culture. A transition from the current role of education ‘to ensure a workforce able to compete in a global market’ to one where people ‘ play full roles in developing sustainable local economies’
- Includes an accessible, broad, diverse, inclusive vision of a Steady State education culture which responds to the initiatives and issues of local communities. It is brought to life by descriptions of existing educational initiatives from near and far which are ‘which are changing the learning landscape in ways that can shape a Steady State Culture.’
- Moves from a very individualistic, competitive form of current education to a collective endeavour
Measuring Progress Toward a Low Carbon Economy in Manchester Report prepared by Benjamin Irvine (Steady State Manchester) for Manchester a Certain Future Low Carbon Economy Steering Group – July 2015. A review for MACF by Ben Irvine.
Food: a foundation for a steady state in Greater Manchester? Report of a workshop organised by Steady State Manchester on 2nd November 2013
Ethical Finance for a Steady State Economy – a briefing note (2012), Ben Irvine.
Long Distance and Inter-Regional Travel (second edition): A guest report by Dominic McCann September, 2013.
Biodiversity in Manchester, by Dave Bishop, originally commissioned as part of the SSM project has (by mutual agreement) been published by Manchester Climate Monthly.