The launch of FEASTA, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

Date: October 28 1998
Venue: Mother Redcaps, Christ Church, Back Lane, Dublin

[This is the invitation to the launch of Feasta on the 28th October, 1998]

Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmid, Ta deireadh na gcoilte ar lar
‘What will we do in the future without wood? The end of the forests has come.’

Dear Friend,

You are invited to the launch of FEASTA, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, to take place at 7.30pm on the 28th October 1998 in Mother Redcaps, Christ Church, Back Lane, Dublin. The evening features guest speakers Richard Douthwaite, co-founder of FEASTA, economist and author of Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies for Security in an Unstable World and The Growth Illusion; and Marcus Arruda, inspiring Brazilian economist who has gained world-wide renown for his work in education and the building of local economies as a counter to globalisation.

A lively music session will follow the talks, whose subject matter – the need for sustainable economics at this time of global economic crisis – has a bearing on all of our lives.

With turmoil in the Far East, Russia and elsewhere, we all may be growing a little less confident in the global economy than perhaps we had been. Questions arise about the stability of a system that underpins so much of our lives and lifestyles. FEASTA has been established to promote research and debate on the global economic system.

FEASTA is not a group of economists. Our areas of concern range from environmental protection to community development to architecture to journalism. Most of us never thought that we would be involved in setting up an organisation that relates to economics. Economics seems such an obscure discipline, wrapped in an impenetrable language and removed from everyday life. We do, however, have some questions about the global economic system on which we find ourselves depending.

How can the finite world cope with a system that depends on ever increasing growth and expansion for its survival?

How can people with few resources be part of a system that depends on competition for its survival?

How can human dignity be upheld in a system where the only role for human beings is to consume?

We believe that these are questions that concern us all, and not just economists. FEASTA aims to popularise the critique of the global economy, which thus far appears to be accepted as the only way we can organise resources on the planet. Economics literally means ‘household management’. We want to see people reclaim the question of how we manage the household of the earth.

FEASTA aims to do this by promoting and sponsoring research and publicising the results of that research. For example, world leaders appear only to measure the well-being of a society by reference to its percentage growth. FEASTA is promoting research into other indicators of how well Ireland is doing; environmental factors, crime levels, the gap between rich and poor. These can then be related to growth levels to tell us if the Celtic Tiger is in fact making for a better society. Trinity College and Bolton Street College are interested in pursuing such research.

If you’re interested in the above, then please join us for a night of problem-solving, realism and revelry at Mother Redcaps at 7.30pm on Wednesday the 28th October. Admission £5. For more information, contact the address above.

Warm regards from the founding committee of FEASTA.

Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members.