We are ONE. A foundation based in the Netherlands. So most of the information on this website is in Dutch. But we know that “the economy” does not stop at borders. And if we want to change the way we think about the economy we need international partners. That is why we are member of national and international networks. This page provides you with a summary of the content on this website for our international partners.
What we do
We want to have change the way people think about the economy. To do this we focus on three components: education, research and (the interaction with) practices.
Education: We create educational materials like lessons for high school, elementary school. We published a book to inspire teachers and academics to build new curricula (Economy Studies). Economics education is our main focus the last few years. We are active with eduction materials, events and projects and we do that on all levels – from highschools to academia.
Research: We write theoretical (policy) papers, do field research and disclose research and books on New Economic topics. Most publications are both Dutch and English. We are building a network of Fellows.
Practice: We look for cases where New Economic thinking is visible in society or business. We organise events and presentations and we build a community of active citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs and civil servants.
We see a global economy that provides a good life for everyone, within the ecological boundaries of the earth, for present and future generations.
The mission of ONE is to inspire, connect and positively influence the important actors in education, the government, business life and society in general. We do this to help transform our society into a solidary and sustainable economy.
We do this together with scientists and practitioners who build and distribute the knowledge and tools we use, to create a new economic policy that can be put into practice.
Why do we want a New Economy?
There are complex problems in our world, on a local, national and global level, that are hard to solve given the present way of economic thinking. When we talk about the New Economy, we do not mean that we start from scratch, we are not reinventing the economy. Most of the theory has already been written by academics. The publications exist, from Mazzucato and Raworth to Piketty. The issue is that the available insights, new ideas are often not used or taken into account while making government policy or while building up organizational structure. And these ideas are unknown in the general population, which does not help either.
The theory is available, so… are practitioners the issue? No, in the Netherlands and the rest of the world there are many initiatives that are showing us ways towards a social just and sustainable world. Entrepreneurs, citizens and local governments show that it is possible. What is needed is growing the reach of knowledge, to bring research and practice together. That is where ONE comes in and that is where you can help.
Let us be clear, not everything the dominant neoclassical theory in economics writes, is wrong. However, the world and its problems are so complex that we have to look upon it from multiple perspectives. We have to find more and new ways to solve our problems. It is important to know, as a society, how we got where we are now. It is even more important that we create the New Economy further, together. ONE will not tell you the solution for all your problems, there is not one easy way out of all the dominant economic thinking patterns. That is why ONE aims to expand the focus, to have different ideas existing next to each other. Ideas that complement and support one another . That is why it is important to do research and share information and experiences.
What is new economic thinking based upon?
The New Economy is a concept that can be hard to grasp. Some confuse it with new technologies, such as crypto-currencies. That is not what we mean when we talk about the New Economy. To clarify this, we have seven principles of new economic thinking.
We build new economic thinking on the following seven principles.
- Make policy based on the right economic assumptions and new insights
Economic models include a lot of assumptions about rational human behaviour, the need for growth, predictability and equilibria in markets. In a complex world, these assumptions cannot be the starting point of our economic understanding. This is a fundamental point of criticism, but there are also many misconceptions with non-economists about economics and economic science. Criticism on economics is therefore sometimes right, other times out of place. Not all economists favour shareholder capitalism, or structural growth of GDP. Yet, taking away these misconceptions is also the economists’ job. A lot of relevant and innovative research is done at universities, but these findings have a hard time reaching practitioners in the economy and the general public. We help create this visibility.
- Give more room to different economic schools of thought and ideas next to the dominant neoclassical economics
Pluralism means that multiple perspectives can coexist. Diversity in background, gender and economic schools of thought enrich economic science. Economists could use the insights of other (social) sciences and could learn from the many experiments that are done in local communities and organizations.
- Economists help close cycles and divide welfare more evenly
We are looking for the balance between material things (which you have) and wellbeing (which you are), between individuals, society and ecological systems. Economists have to work together with other sciences to draw clear boundaries in order to make the change we need.
- Governments and organizations should measure the economy in different ways
One of the main focuses of ONE is to understand how paradigm shifts happen. ONE does this together with economists who rethink how economic science can make this happen. For this, we look for useful indicators that are needed for the paradigm shift. These indicators can be on macro level, such as monitors on wellbeing, or on micro level, such as integrated reporting, or the Economy of the Common Goods matrix.
- The economic science should become less intertwined with power
Economists should serve society and not only the ones at the top. At the same time, economists are often close to those in power, in organizations and governments. Research is needed on this intertwining. As people we are connected in many different ways, as our networks run wide and the world is complex. In the New Economy, companies have a purpose that reaches further than short term profit maximization or increase productivity. Companies have a purpose to help society forward. Economics is a normative science, not only exact or prescriptive.
- Focus on wellbeing instead of economic growth
In the present economy, those in power believe that aiming for growth of GDP is the most efficient way to create growth of wellbeing. Here, we have to make fundamental different choices. A debate has already started about the need for growth or what actually needs to grow, whether improvements should be made in wellbeing instead of consumption or production. What we see here is that the neoclassical theory dominates and that people only learn to think according to that school of thought. The effect is that organizations only create, solve their problems or give advice, in this way. This course of action does not help us now, in this time where we need to solve large problems, we need different ideas. The goal is the wellbeing of humans and the ecosystem, with a boundary of the right goods at the highest quality, while reusing raw materials.
- Thinking in a broader way in economics and economic behaviour calls for more diverse and open-minded economic education
Individual economic freedom in western culture is seen as the highest good. This to the detriment of natural resources and other people, now and in the future. In this classic liberal view, fellow humans are presented as competitors that needs to be beaten. Citizens are mainly seen as expensive employees or they are clients for your business and profit. Products and services do not need to have a purpose, they have to get sold.
New economists see money as a tool, not as an end goal. They debate the current money system and its most important attributes – money creation, money amounts and interest rates. To have strong, interesting debates, we need plural economic education that pushes students to think critically.