43 - Putting humanity back into Economics

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For all the good that impact investors claim to be doing, it behooves us to consider what harm we might be causing in the process and whether, ultimately, we're doing more damage than good. After all, impact investing is still investing. It exists within the current framework of free-market Capitalism. And as the deep fractures in that system have been laid bare, it only makes sense to ask ourselves what systemic changes are required to bring about true and lasting equality.And while many people are beginning to discuss how Capitalism can be improved, or even whether it is salvageable, today’s guest is exploring even more fundamental questions about our understanding of economics. After all, it shouldn’t surprise us when our financial systems fail us if those systems are built off a flawed understanding of economics.Enter today’s guest, thought-leader, advisor, and author, Denise Hearn. Denise joins us today to discuss her new blog Embodied Economics, which is, in her own words, an exploration of “economic paradigms and financial systems through, Nature, Body, Power, Care, and Interconnectedness”.In Denise’s first blog post, she asks us to consider “What is life? What is economic value?” On the surface, these are easy questions to answer yet the better we understand these terms, the more difficult they become to define. Denise argues that economics for too long has operated in the theoretical realm, divorcing itself from the realities of life. If economics is to serve us better, it must be understood in the following context:(once again in Denise’s words) “to be human is to be a living, embodied person, embedded in nature and a complex tapestry of relationships.”In this episode, Denise and I discuss the intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual inquiry that is Embodied Economics. We discuss how we can better understand economic value, what she calls the Forgotten Five of Economics (body, nature, care, power, and interconnectedness), a simple way to grow global GDP by 10% overnight, her book The Myth of Capitalism, and her work on anti-competitiveness. And be sure to stay tuned to the very end when Denise and I discuss her thoughts on how she and each of us can affect meaningful change.Resources from this episode:

*** A message from our episode sponsor, Spring Activator: On a mission to change the world through innovation, Sring Activator is working to make impact investing mainstream. Their signature Impact Investor Challenge program exists to grow the size and diversity of the impact investor community, and also to stimulate funding for innovative solutions across impact-oriented industries. Think climate solutions, health tech, food innovation, gender lens approaches, and more.The program empowers and equips individuals to invest in what they value, catalyzing the flow of impact capital and accelerating the success of purpose-driven entrepreneurs. This in turn helps solve pressing global and local challenges. It also builds a community of like-minded changemakers. Are you looking to be part of such a community, meet impact startups, and be guided into making impact investments? If so, I invite you to visit www.spring.is today to learn more about the comprehensive and value-packed Impact Investor Challenge program.***

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