The writer has moderated the panel discussion. Two projects, those of Mariana Reis Maria and Julia Wdowin, are still at the level of research projects. Mariana inquires on economic policies to encourage the ecological shift in the energy sector such as a carbon tax or indirect subsidies from a state-run investment bank. Beware, Mariana reminds us, that the burden of these policies will not fall on the most vulnerable sectors of our society – the cry of the earth will not be heard if the cry of the poor is ignored. Julia envisions an economy that puts people at the center. However, being an economist, she wants to translate this intuition into an index for measuring human development. Today, it is unacceptable to refer to the GDP, which includes the proceeds, for example, of the weapon and gambling industries. We need a new and complex index, which is based on a participatory process between experts and citizens.
Marta Bicho and Valentina Rotondi explore the business world and the market. Marta presents an article (soon to be published in a scientific journal) in which, using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, she explores the concept of ‘success’ in social enterprises. Marta, and her coauthor Ema Carvalho, claim that it is financial sustainability that interests women social entrepreneurs, that is, their ability to attain their social goals while remaining competitive in the market. Lastly, Valentina states that caring is good for the economy because it develops (social) virtues necessary for the proper function of the economic system (for example, it makes us more pro-social, supportive and productive by changing our mind). As a ‘natural gym for caring’, she will discuss the transition to parenthood, show its implications in terms of brain structure (the impact of oxytocin on the amygdala), and that these areas of the brain are the ones activated when the test subjects show selflessness in market choices related to public goods.
The work site is open, and many are already at work!
Paolo Santori is Professor of Philosophy and Economics at the University of Tilburg (Netherlands)