Jacob Bomann-Larsen: Report from Norway - August 2012

Since earlier this year, I have given several presentations of my understanding of the New Economy framework and have received a great response to the message.

One key Norwegian NGO, literally translated called Sustainable Everyday, is well respected among all main political stands in Norway. As a result of my presentation to their leadership, they decided to make the New Economy a top priority work for them.

I had the privilege to present my understanding of the New Economy framework at the June 5 meeting with about 50 especially invited key organizational people in Norway. I concentrated on an economy supporting ecological balance, equitable distribution, high quality of life, living and real democracy (including economic democracy), international networks of strong local living economies and developing new indicators for quality of life and for the health of people and nature. 

Among the invited speakers at this meeting was the research director of the Norwegian Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research. He gave an overview of the climate situation. Another speaker was an architect from the Gaia Architect company. She spoke about sustainable town planning. There was great enthusiasm among the audience to follow up. 

At this meeting, the Norwegian Forum for New Economy was launched, and Sustainable Everyday, which is the Norwegian member of Global Action Plan International, will serve as secretariat. I said that I know of no country which is in a better position to start a New Economy at a national level than Norway.

As an organization, Sustainable Everyday works very practically. So now they have started an initiative for making the city of Oslo a pilot project for developing a New Economy. I certainly support this, but I am also fully aware that this may be a long and difficult process. There are not that many people having yet a deep understanding of what the New Economy is about. But we can start a process.

To start the work of the Forum for New Economy we have received 250.000 Norwegian Kroner (the equivalent of approximately 45.000 USDollars) from a private foundation. The next meeting (a larger conference) of the Forum will be on September 18 this year.

Also, in mid-June, I presented the New Economy framework to a social-ethical committee in the Church of Norway. There was also a presentation of ecological economics by a professor in ecological economics, a presentation of ideas about equitable distribution by a professor in economics, and an analysis of the international financial situations by one of our key experts in that field.

After my presentation I was invited to become a member of or adviser to a new working group in the Church of Norway on future economics.

The great majority of the Norwegian population are members of the Church of Norway. Even if only a very few of them are active church members, the Church of Norway’s official opinion about various issues is clearly of importance for many people in Norway. Therefore I plan to work somehow together with this new working group on future economics.

On invitation from the Church of Norway I will also go to a four day conference in the Nederlands beginning of September. It is arranged by “European christian environmental network” (www.ecen.org). This network works very much with thematic working groups. There is talk about starting a working group on the economy. My plan is to present the New Economy framework there and suggest that they start a working group on the New Economy. I have a realistic hope that the Church of Norway will support such a proposal.