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The Dancing Economist #8 | Spring 2021

This newsletter is a bit more compact than previous ones. I want to keep that from now on. Because the rhythm of lectures, projects and other activities became sometimes too dense over the last years - letting too little space for rejoicing, celebrating and digesting. In the future, I want to experience everything I do as presently as possible - and therefore do less. With more focus, attention and mindfulness. The side effect of this realignment is that I am reducing my personal team to one person. As PR and Operations Coordinator, Birte Gehm will form the team with me from June. The new section is already taking shape: fewer lectures, interviews and little time robbers, more long-term and substantial projects - I'll keep you informed! 

  1. Science: Cornerstone for the theory of ECG, course "Applied ECG", reply to Ifo-Christmas lecture of Han-Werner Sinn
  2. Economy for the Common Good: City of Münster, local chapter Paderborn, City of Cádiz, Latin America, Osttirol, new banks
  3. Cooperative for the Common Good: "Money and Democracy" course, "Common good account at your bank" campaign, Moneyfest
  4. Politics: NFRD/CSRD campaign, Democracy or not to be, Corona diary
  5. Networking: SDG platform Austria
  6. Books: ECG on SPIEGEL bestseller list, "This is not economy" in Italian, new ECG edition in French upcoming
  7. Media coverage: Own texts, interviews, articles on ECG
  8. Action!
I. Science

Cornerstone laid for scientific theory of the economy for the common good

Impatient people had to wait full ten years for the theoretical foundation of the practical model “Economy for the Common Good” that has been spreading around the world since 2010. Now it has been laid by a team of authors - Prof. Petra Teitscheid (Münster University of Applied Sciences), Johannes Dolderer (economics student, Heidelberg) and myself - in the science journal “Sustainability” as part of a special issue on ECG. The title “From Neoclassical Economics to Common Good Economics” already suggests that we started from the existing mainstream of neoclassics and have partly developed it, partly transcended it. We worked with a comparative matrix of 18 key categories in four sections: 1. Philosophy of Science; 2. Definition and aim of economy and economics; 3. Basic elements of the economy; 4. Common good and market economy. At the same time, we derived the resulting “common good economics” by making the partly implicit basic assumptions of the practical ECG model explicit - and thus from two sides. This lays the foundation for a broader discourse.

> From neclassical economics to common good economics
> Special Issue "Sustainable Economy for the Common Good"
> Press info ECG - ENG

The second round of the "Applied Economy for the Common Good" study

The first ECG study was initiated by the Saalfelden Study Center in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Burgenland, which is Austria's first university with a Common Good Balance Sheet. The first generation is just finishing up. Now the 2nd round is proclaimed despite Corona hurdles. The start is in September in Saalfelden / Salzburg. The course for a maximum of 25 participants is designed for four semesters and ends with the title Master of Arts (MA). I am happy to be able to teach alongside many other exciting teachers.

> Press release ECG (GER)
> Course page of AIM (GER)

Reply to economist Sinn's ifo Christmas Lecture - Corona Vlog # 5

The sovereign debt of the euro zone jumped from 79.2% to 93.9% of GDP in 2020 due to the Corona policies - by 15% in one year! Many people wonder if this debt can ever be repaid or if they will inevitably lead to high inflation. Others expressly warn against it, like the German star economist Hans-Werner Sinn in his Ifo Christmas lecture. He even raises fear of hyperinflation of historical proportions and underpins this hypothesis with expressive pictures - but not with clear arguments. I took a close look at this "didactics" - it is a university lecture - and came to some surprising results. I share this - after a longer vlog break - in my “Corona vlog number 5”.

> To Video Blog (GER)

II. Economy for the Common Good


A number of cities already support the economy for the common good or implement it in one form or another. Münster has now set a new benchmark: the newly inaugurated city council - a coalition of Greens and Volt - has decided to draw up a Common Good Balance Sheet for all city companies and orient economic development and public procurement towards ECG criteria. We wish Münster a lot of energy for the implementation and that this example catches on internationally!

> ECG press information (GER)

Local chapter Paderborn

The roughly 100th regional group in Germany started very close to Münster: in Paderborn. Lockdown and the "Corona emergency brake" cannot prevent people from becoming politically active - and from making music! The ensemble in the regional newspaper stands out and is particularly motivating in these times!

> Article in Westfalen-Blatt (GER)


The ECG movement is particularly pleased with the “institutional support” from the City of Cádiz on the southern tip of Spain. The four-sided cooperation agreement with the local ECG chapter of April 26, 2021 was read out in full at the meeting of the city council. I now hope that other cities will follow this inspiring example!

> EBC Cádiz

Latin America

ECG activists from 12 Latin American countries have come together to start a joint coordination for "Latam". I am happy and wish you strong cooperation and organic growth!

> ECG Latam video

Eastern Tyrol

Ten new companies in Eastern Tyrol have drawn up their first Common Good Balance Sheet - from solar system manufacturers to Weltladen Lienz and the socio-economic companies "Schindel und Holz" and "Gwandolina" to plastics manufacturer Liot and the printing company Green Print Osttirol the whole of Tyrol is becoming more and more pronounced, as the newspaper report shows.

> Report in Tyrolian newspaper (GER)

Four new banks!

Four new banks are currently on the way to implementing their Common Good Balance Sheet. The first savings bank in Germany has just completed its balance sheet in the region of Berchtesgadener Land. The public will soon learn from three other banks - two in Austria and one in Germany.

> Pressrelease Sparkasse BGL (GER)

III. Common Good Cooperative

"Money & Democracy" course

An unbelievable 350 highly committed people have completed the pilot online course "Money and Democracy", which I invented in the Lockdown and developed together with the Academy of the Cooperative for Common Good (GfG) and the Pioneers of Change and offered from February to April. In the course, I shared my knowledge of the monetary and financial system and its future orientation towards the common good in ten multi-format units: the core was an hour-long interview input on each unit, here the director of the Academy for Common Good, Christina Buczko, interviewed me; we highlighted the core elements history of money, commercial banks, central banks, the financial system, pension system, tax justice, Bretton Woods II and others. There was also a live call in each unit, in which I discussed the input and beyond with the participants for 1.5 hours. The “PoC” added a community call, and GfG board member Fritz Fessler added three additional evenings on special topics. There was also a set of slides for each unit, as well as an extensive collection of materials and a list of literature. The best thing, however, is that concrete action ideas emerged from the intensive discussion of the topic, such as: a citizens' assembly on the financial system. My vision is a binding and formally legitimized “democratic monetary convention”, for which a citizens' assembly is the ideal “warm-up exercise”. Maybe you have now appetite to organize one in your country!

> Online course "Money & Democracy" (GER)

Action: Common Good Account from your bank!

A lower-threshold, but equally great campaign that was developed in the course is: "Proposal for the introduction of a common good account in my bank". The background to this is the GfG's first successful common good account cooperation, which will now result in more. Two banks in Germany have already expressed their interest in introducing it. In principle, every bank can sow a green seed in its balance sheet, which can start out tiny and gradually grow to 100% of the balance sheet total: then the bank would have become a common good bank! The cooperative for common good provides comprehensive know-how on how to set up a common good center with common good accounts and credits. Currently, the missing common good (credit) assessment has is developed to complete the common good banking centre. In principle, every account holder can go to her/his own bank and suggest that the latter should also offer a common goodaccount - or explicitly request one.

> Common Good Account in your bank (GER)


The Politics hub of the Cooperative for Common Good was also productive and, following the first two position papers (“Too big to fail” and "The configurative power of loans"), under the leadership of Thomas Reichmann, wrote a Moneyfest - for the common good- orientation of the monetary and financial system. There are many concrete alternatives! There is a compact short version of Moneyfest and a long version for more in-depth information.

> Moneyfest (GER)

IV. Politics

NFRD → CSRD campaign

In 2017, the non-financial reporting obligation for listed companies and companies "of public interest" on the basis of the original CSR directive - currently NFRD - came into effect for the first time in the EU member states. According to a study, only 89 (!) Companies out of 400,000 in Austria were affected, in Germany around 500 out of four million. Therefore and due to more existing flaws, the EU Commission decided to revise the directive in 2020 as part of the Green Deal and turn it into the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). According to the new proposal of the EU Commission of April 21, 2021, however, instead of 11.7000 or 0.05% of all companies as before, 49,000 or 0.2% should now have to report - still only one in 500! Only voluntary standards are provided for SMEs, which are neither checked nor lead to legal incentives or consequences. The unfruitful situation that companies that protect the global climate and human rights most consequently receive equal tretatment as free-riders and dumpers will continue. The ECG movement will not only advocate strengthening the directive through the Council and Parliament at EU level, but also in several EU member states for more ambitious national implementation.

> Press info EN

Democracy or not to be

We live in uncertain, complex, confused and contradicting times. According to the most comprehensive democracy report, the V-Dem Report of the University of Gothenburg, democracy is on the decline worldwide: in 2020 we were at the level of 1990. In addition, there were the restrictive Covid-19 measures, with which democracies equally restricted fundamental freedoms as more authoritarian regimes. And at the same time contrarian tendencies are becoming visible that give hope: Citizens' councils, climate protection lawsuits and grassroots democratic constitutional processes like the one in Chile. In the weekend supplement of the Austrian “Standard”, I tried to put these hopeful processes into a bigger picture and to combine them with my theory of a “sovereign democracy”.

> „Wer ist hier der Staat?" (Der Standard)
> V-Dem Report

Corona diary

I can no longer answer to myself for not saying anything about current events in our western democracies. I have taken a position on various aspects of the crisis in my 5 corona vlogs so far and am currently working on a longer basic text with which I am trying to put the crisis in a holistic, bigger picture; But since this takes time or requires great thoroughness and accuracy (I'm at 200 sources), my personal mental hygiene and freedom of thought require that I also comment on current events on a daily basis. In order to clearly express my own position, to hopefully carry out helpful analyzes, perhaps to support others in forming their opinions.

> Personal Corona diary (GER)

V. Networking

SDG platform

In line with the CSRD revision, I am starting the working group “Task Force Non-financial Reporting” within the very broad SDG Platform Austria in order to use the momentum surrounding the NFRD / CSRD process. The first meeting took place on May 11th - the aim is to turn Austria in a precursor on non-financial reporting - alias Common Good Balance Sheet for businesses. Green Deal, the government-supported citizens' assembly on Climate Protection and the SDGs hype could prove to be favorable framework conditions. The former role model on environmental protection, Austria, could regain this title with a legally binding CGBS and linked incentives for the protection of the climate, biodiversity and human rights in the supply chain. 

VI. Books

Book "Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie" on SPIEGEL bestseller list

After eleven years, the “Economy for the Common Good” made it onto the SPIEGEL bestseller list for the first time since its publishing! A ZDF report on the flourishing public welfare region of Höxter contributed to this.

> ZDF-Aspekte to GWÖ (GER)
> Bestseller-Liste im SPIEGEL 07/2021

TINE in Italian

The first translation of “This is not economy. Call for a Revolution in Economics ” is out. Aboca Edizioni has published my second book after “Ethical World Trade”. My new English publisher has also shown interest. Hopefully there will be the next good news in autumn.

> Aboca Edizioni

French new edition of ECG upcoming

And particularly good news is that the French new edition of the Economy for the Common Good will be published by Dunod in spring 2022, with a more appropriate title. That will give the movement in France, which is currently slowly starting, a powerful boost!

> Dunod

VII. Media coverage

Own texts

→ 6. 1. „Durch Corona zu sinnvoller Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie“ in Wiener Zeitung (GER)
→ 18. 4. „Wer ist hier der Staat“ in Der Standard (GER)
→ 18. 5. „Economic growth without GDP growth" in Meta (ENG)


→ 1. 12. CIPRA-Magazin Szene Alpen (GER)
→ 2. 12. bremenzwei (GER)
→ 28. 3. „Heimat Fremde Heimat“ on ORF II
→ 12. 4. Aachener Zeitung (GER)
→ 3. 4. Easter interview with Sonnentor initiator Hannes Gutmann on ORF (GER)

Berichte über die GWÖ

→ 22. 1. „Gemeinwohl-Zertifikat“ for Steinheim in ZDF Aspekte (GER)
→ 26. 2. „Transformationspotenziale der Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie“ on postwachstumsblog (GER)
→ 7. 5. „Die Wirtschaft auf den Kopf stellen“ on diefreiheitsliebe (GER)

All media coverage in various categories: Christian Felber's Website

VIII. Action!

We are organizing a citizens' assembly on the financial system!
Please mail to Team Christian Felber!

Common Good Account for my bank
> info sheet (DE)

Participate in the ECG!
Become part of the Common Good Cooperative!
> Join (DE)
Open Common Good Account!
> Now (DE)

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