I came across the new economics foundation (nef), a group that was formed in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit and forced issues such as international debt onto the agenda of the G7 and G8 summits. nef describes itself ‘as an independent think-and-do-tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being.’ nef is attempting to develop a new framework for understanding economics. Their website inclues the following definition:
nef’s theoretical new economics programme aims to build a framework for a new economics which promotes real well-being (rather than financial wealth), environmental sustainability and social justice.
Their framework tries to connect the latest thinking from alternative branches of economics AND the social sciences with the intent of drawing out practical policy implications. Among their goals is to map out the latest ideas in non-mainstream economics such as behavioural economics (think Freakonomics ), ecological economics (think The Nature of Economies by Jane Jacobs ) and institutional economics.
One of their projects transforming markets emerged from the nef’s corporate accountability programme to advance the debate on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Transforming markets investigates what keeps corporations entrenched in a short-term, profit-driven business cycle. nef actually advocates for bold reforms to break away from the current CSR context.