The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is a British think-tank.
NEF was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) with the aim of working for a “new model of wealth creation, based on equality, diversity and economic stability”. Its programmes include work on well-being, new kinds of measurement and evaluation, sustainable local regeneration, new forms of finance and new business models, sustainable public services, and the economics of climate change.
James Robertson, a British economist, and Alison Pritchard, a Schumacher Society Council member, helped to set up The Other Economic Summit (TOES) and NEF. Ed Mayo was Chief Executive from 1992 until 2003. The current executive director is Stewart Wallis.
At the policy level, NEF has attracted Gordon Brown (when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer) to chair some of its events. The organization has launched a range of new organizations to promote its ideas, including the Ethical Trading Initiative, AccountAbility, Time Banking UK, London Rebuilding Society, the Community Development Finance Association, and others.
The organization’s current projects include measuring local money flows LM3, developing new kinds of business enterprise coaching BizFizz, and introducing techniques of sustainable regeneration (Local Alchemy). NEF’s BizFizz programs have created more than 900 new businesses in deprived areas. The organization has now taken this and Local Alchemy to six other countries through its international programme.
The organization was voted Think-Tank of the Year in 2002/3. In 2010 NEF announced a long-term alliance with the New Economics Institute in the USA.
The purpose of the New Economics Institute is to develop, research, and lead in a US context, the implementation of systemic solutions to a series of systemic problems that now face humanity. These include:
· The sustainability, climate and dwindling resources crisis.
· The equality crisis, here and around the world, in income, assets, access, and democracy.
· The financial risk crisis, with a system that is neither efficient nor resilient.
· The well-being crisis, in which rising income is not translating into rising happiness.
Many and various solutions to these crises are emerging, but the solutions are often not systemic, nor are the systemic problems widely understood as such, certainly not by policy-makers. Nor are the solutions being pulled together into a compelling and coherent narrative. The task of the New Economics Institute is to provide this narrative, as well as the missing intellectual support for major system change – to collect and link together the solutions that are emerging, and to research and develop solutions where they are not.
To achieve the political and economic will to implement major systematic change will require a cultural shift in public opinion. The work ahead for the New Economics Institute is to provide the feasible solutions and effective communications that the vanguard requires to make this shift possible.
The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) was created to broaden and accelerate the development of new economic thinking that can lead to solutions for the great challenges of the 21st century.
The havoc wrought by our recent global financial crisis has vividly demonstrated the deficiencies in our outdated current economic theories, and shown the need for new economic thinking – right now.
INET is supporting this fundamental shift in economic thinking through research funding, community building, and spreading the word about the need for change. We already are a global community of thousands of new economic thinkers, ranging from Nobel Prize winning economists to teachers and students who have emerged out from the shadows of prevailing economic thought, attracted by the promise of a free and open economic discourse.