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Economic Growth – A Blessing or a Curse?

On 27 November, the Secretary General of the Club of Rome, the Ambassador of Japan to Switzerland, and the Chief Economist of Avenir Suisse will meet at ZHAW for a public debate on the future of the concept of economic growth and prosperity.

Inspired by a recent publication by the “Club of Rome”, the Center for European Business & Affairs decided to take up the fundamental questions raised in that report and discuss it with renown experts at the ZHAW School of Management and Law in Winterthur.

In “Reinventing Prosperity: Managing Economic Growth to Reduce Unemployment, Inequality, and Climate Change”, Grame Maxton and Jorgen Randers present some innovative, new approaches regarding economic growth. They also make reference to the much debated publication by French economist Thomas Piketty who claims that the future will bring a situation in which the rich world’s middle cases will disappear.

A New Approach to Prosperity
Maxton and Randers advocate radical solutions to avoid such a development:Prosperity Book Cover

“Rich-world nations will need to change their economic systems. They will need to step back from today’s economic mantra, which promotes individual freedom, applauds free markets and free trade, and minimizes state influence, and instead rearrange their economies to boost average well-being.”

In order to test those ideas, we have invited the chief economist of the liberal Think Tank Avenir Suisse: Dr. Patrik Schellenbaur is a strong advocate of liberal economic policies. In one of his recent publications on Income Distribution he claimed, that Switzerland benefits from a broadly shared prosperity and that it is “among those countries where the spread of incomes is relatively narrow.”

Mr. Abenomics in Winterthur
Since the implementing of such new ideas is a major policy challenge, we are also very honored to welcome H.E. Etsuro Honda, the Ambassador of Japan to Switzerland to this debate. Ambassador Honda is well known as one of the authors behind Japan’s economic policy named after the current prime minister Shinzo Abe: Abenomics. With his background from Japan’s powerful Finance Ministry, he knows what it means to apply new concepts with the aim to stimulate the world’s fourth largest economy. His experience from designing and implementing growth policies will bring the debate on how to reinvent prosperity even further and also beyond the borders of Europe.

To register for the event click here.

Contact person: Florian Keller, Head of Center for European Business & Affairs


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