Most economic transformation proposals are set in growth dependent economic models. We believe this is a discrepancy that needs to be addressed, because growth rates have been low, resources are limited and a return to high growth rates in Europe seems unlikely, due to a mix of secular stagnation, stagnating productivity growth and the demographic transition. The Japanese scenario of low interest and low growth rates provides a challenge and an opportunity for the social-ecological transformation that has not been addressed adequately.
There are several questions that arise: can permanently low interest rates be a favourable factor for the massive investment needed in a carbon-free economy? How do we ensure full employment in a low growth low interest rate environment? What do low interest rates mean for public and private pension schemes? Can the trend of secular stagnation lead to a massive overhaul of financial markets?
The debate on the socio-ecological transformation is currently split between the post-growth and the green growth camp. In order to bridge the gap, we aim to develop a new concept of an economic model independent of traditional (GDP) growth that can serve as a new progressive narrative.