Cultural and Social Perspectives when North Meets South
In a recent opinion piece entitled ‘How to get back to strong, sustained growth’ Klaus Schwarb, the father of the World Economic Forum, concluded: Ultimately, however, the path to sustained growth requires not only new policies, but also a new mind-set. Our societies must become more entrepreneurial, more focused on establishing gender parity, and more rooted in social inclusion. There is simply no other way to return the global economy to a path of strong and sustained growth. Despite the reformist invective this futurist thinker seems unable to escape the mind-set which he targets for change. Growth is economic and sustainability is about economies and the wealth they produce. In the same article Schwarb concedes: The global growth slowdown is taking place against the backdrop of rising economic inequality, owing to labour’s declining share of national income – a worldwide phenomenon arising from globalisation and technological progress … Systems that propagate inequality or that seem unable to stem its rise contain the seeds of their own destruction. This destruction arising as it will within an interdependent world, can never be averted or even modified until regulatory frames work for social rather than economic sustainability. Such is our book’s sustainability message. As the tensions in many market economies currently demonstrate, these forms of economically driven sustainability are not productively interdependent from wider social sustainability.
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