The past several decades have seen a dogmatic focus on free-markets and neo-liberalism, and under the “greed is good” mentality ethics and values have been largely removed from the conversation. As a result, we are no longer able to understand, describe, and measure real societal value. Economics in recent generations has been usurped into the domains of math and physics when, in fact, it is much more of a social science. A well-functioning and sustainable economy has many dimensions that are not easily captured by numbers, such as a stable climate for future generations, the health and happiness of citizens, and economic and social equality. The current system is not tenable - financialization from Wall Street is placing the real economy in service to the banks, technological innovation is making millions of jobs obsolete, and climate instability is drastically increasing geopolitical risk. The cracks are showing, and many people are looking for a different approach.
Economic systems and markets are simultaneously beneficial and harmful forces in the world, providing opportunity for billions of people but also causing significant social and environmental degradation. However, it is eminently possible for our economic systems to provide for all aspects of the individual and society, not only through financial stability, but also by engendering purpose in people's lives, promoting healthy lifestyles, and enabling the full expression of the individual in the world. To achieve this goal, our personal values and ethics must guide our economic activities.
WPE engages a diverse group of new economy leaders and system practitioners who are actively working to rethink the way we approach economics, finance, and business.