Using a Socio-Environmental Economy to Maximize Sustainable Development Effectiveness

Date: 
April 4, 2008 - 12:00pm
Location: 
90-3122
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

In this talk we present the concept of creating a parallel, practical ”Socio-Environmental” (SE) economy that can be used to increase the cost-effectiveness of projects that incrementally solve climate change, global poverty, and global health inequity.  Application of SE economic methods appears to generate project models that can increase by a factor of 10 to 1000 the effectiveness of sustainable development investments. How is this done?  The first step in creating a practical SE economy is to define both poverty reduction credits and health improvement credits that can be used to complement the current markets and standards for carbon credits.  The second step is to create methods and systems for producing and selling social and economic value that can contain transaction and distribution costs so that the poorest, most isolated and most marginalized communities can participate in an SE economy at the smallest scale and receive the majority of revenues generated--either in cash, or preferably in kind. And the third step is to set the terms of social and environmental value ownership in ways that allow the most marginalized communities to rapidly accumulate real, physical. productive assets at a pace that reflects the actual profits and socio-economic returns on investment from the SE value that they produce.  This third step enables extremely rapid economic growth. We are now creating an economic space for the operation of an SE value economy through the creation of an SE credit market and equipment distribution network (for high SE productivity products).  In this talk, we present the outlines of the SE credit market and distribution system that is under construction and pilot testing.  Further, we describe how we are currently building a network of SE value producers in partnership with communities throughout Africa, and the information and product distribution network that can support them.  If we can replicate and grow this SE economic model fast enough over the next couple of decades, then it is quite likely that a whole set of Africa's formerly intractable problems may actually be solvable within our lifetime.  In addition, if this system is successful, consumers in rural Africa will become the global leaders in energy, water, and land resource use productivity and \r\nefficiency relative to other regions of the world.

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