Ecological Economics – the Course

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181 Roundhouse Mews
Vancouver, British Columbia

The Ecological Economics course is about three things:What a truly sustainable economy would look like, and how it differs from what we have now;How, in principle one might run a business well in an economy much more sustainable than the one we have now;How one might better run a business in the economy we have, respecting the principles of strong sustainability as best one can.

The Ecological Economics course will identify the economic forces that need to be present for serious sustainability to “pay off” for entrepreneurs and managers. Is it true that there is often a very decent payoff to investing in greater sustainability at the enterprise level, but not always?
The course will also look at the principles of industrial ecology, a sister field of study to ecological economics, to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental characteristics of genuinely “greener” goods and services, and for the design to follow, when producing and delivering them. This will be followed by a brief look at some relevant case studies.
Finally, we will look at the implications, politically, of the challenge facing a sustainability-minded entrepreneur in an economic sector where the economic forces necessary for “win-win”, sustainability-focused innovation to pay off, are weak or non-existent. The situation here is far from hopeless, but different strategies are required in these cases.
The course begins October 14, and will take place every second Tuesday for a total of 8 sessions. It will be taught by Michael Barkusky