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The Dancing Economist #9 | Fall 2021

Intro: Diversity and divide

On the one hand, the pandemic and dealing with it determine everyday life. On the other hand, life goes on - I look back with surprise at the abundance of events in the 2nd half of the year, when I actually wanted to do less :)
But the many highlights also give a lot of strength. Towards the end of the year, my - very personal - decision on the vaccination against Covid 19 caused more of a stir than I would have liked. The social divide, which I had tried to prevent together with others, has meanwhile progressed so far that an objective and appreciative discourse is no longer possible in many places. In recent weeks, I have therefore held back from making further statements. And I celebrated my birthday with good friends.

  1. Science: ECGIC 2022, PINE at the University of Córdoba, ECG course at HAWK Göttingen
  2. Economy for the Common Good: Common Good Product, EU Event on CSRD, Stuttgart awarded for implementing ECG, Münster, Newcomers: TH Nürnberg, Postbauer-Heng, Greenpeace Switzerland and Volksbank in Brakel
  3. Cooperative for the Common Good: Online course "Money and Democracy" II
  4. Travels: Denmark trip
  5. Networking: SDG Plattform Austria, Doughnut Economics Action Lab, Goodbye to commons-theorist Silke Helfrich
  6. Dance: Vienna Summer of Culture
  7. Pandemic in Discourse: My own and collective texts
  8. Media coverage: Own texts, Interviews, Reports on the ECG
  9. Action!
I. Science

ECGIC 2022  

The second ECG scientific conference will take place from March 9-11, 2022 at the University of Valencia. Hosted by the first ECG chair in the world. The conference will highlight the connection between sustainable business organization and the Sustainable Development Goals, under the title "Connecting Sustainability Organizational Models with SDGs". I will deliver the opening keynote on the common good product. The call for papers closed a few days ago, so perhaps there is a is still a chance for those interested who are just learning about it now.

> ECGIC 20222

PINE at the University of Córdoba

A three-month introductory course in New Economies (Programa de Introducción a Nuevas Economías) will be offered by the Faculty of Economics at the National University of Córdoba in Argentina starting February 15, 2022. Prominent part of it will be the Common Good Economy, and I will also teach one unit. Interested people from all over Latin America will participate in this online course, as well as Spanish speakers from around the world. The free-access preliminary talks in December have already generated a lot of interest.

> Nuevas Economías
> Resumen de las charlas perparatorias

ECG course at HAWK Göttingen

The example of Münster University of Applied Sciences continues to set a precedent. Following in the footsteps of the universities of Paderborn and Kassel - the latter won an award for its efforts -, Göttingen University of Applied Arts and Sciences has now also set up a course in which students from various degree programs help companies get started with the common good economy. May the model spread even further!

> Göttinger Tageblatt (DE)

II. Economy for the Common Good

Common Good Product

After the focus of the growing Common Good Economy movement in the first years was on the Common Good Balance Sheet - increasingly also for cities and educational institutions - the International Federation has now launched a campaign on a second accent: the Common Good Product. The launch on the occasion of the G20 Summit in Rome and the COP26 in Glasgow was supported by personalities such as Kate Raworth, Robert Costanza, Antje von Dewitz, Hartmut Rosa and many more.

> Common Good Product

EU Event on CSRD

After long preparatory work, the ECG movement reaped the reward of its efforts on September 29:
a prominent panel discussed the content and shortcomings of the future EU Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which forms the legal basis for the Common Good Balance Sheet. The event was co-organized with Oxfam, supported by the Future-Fit Foundation, Frank Bold and the Alliance for Corporate Transparency (ACT). On the panel were Sirpa Pietikäinen (MEP), Tom Todd (EU Commission) and experts from various NGOs from WWF to the Taxonomy Working Group. Conclusion: progress is very slow in small steps.

> Event in Brussels
> ECG Press release on the Commission's proposal, April
> Press conference in Vienna (DE)

Stuttgart awarded for implementing ECG

Another harvest for the movement: Stuttgart was awarded the German Sustainability Award 2022 - among others for the progressive application of the Common Good Economy.

> SWR-Report (DE)


Münster is also taking the next step: the municipal utility company, the municipal parking garage operator WBI, and the city's business development department will create a common good balance sheet. According to Green Party politician Anne Herbermann, the long-term goal is to give preference in the awarding of public contracts to companies that also have their common good orientation reviewed and documented.

> Westfälische Nachrichten (DE)

Newcomers: TH Nürnberg, Postbauer-Heng, Greenpeace Switzerland and Volksbank in Brakel

Tht Technical University for Applied Sciences in Nuremberg has become the first state university in Germany to present a common good balance sheet. Previously, only the International Graduate Center at Bremen University of Applied Sciences had done so in Germany. At the Common Good Congress at the TH Nuremberg, the university was honored together with the municipality of Postbauer-Heng and other companies from the region. The ceremony took place in the presence of Carolina Trautner, State Minister for Family, Labor and Social Affairs of Bavaria. I had the pleasure of presenting the certificates to all those who took stock, including President Niels Oberbeck and Chancellor Andrea Gerlach-Newman.

We are also pleased to welcome numerous newcomers: Greenpeace Switzerland has drawn up its first common good balance sheet, as has the Gutmann brewery in Titting, the first brewery in Germany to do so. In the district of Höxter, the first Gemeinwohl region, a bank has joined the growing Gemeinwohl community in the form of Vereinigte Volksbank, headquartered in Brakel e.V.

> Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (DE)
> Mein eigener Post zum Gemeinwohl-Kongress (DE)
III. Cooperative for the Common Good

Online course "Money and Democracy" II

After an incredible 350 participants attended the first edition of the online course "Money and Democracy" at the beginning of the year, the Academy of the Cooperative for the Common Good (GfG), the Pioneers of Change and I decided to repeat it in the fall. The structure remained the same: ten input videos with an interview on the topic formed the basis, and in addition there was a live call in each unit, in which I discussed with the participants for 1.5 hours.

Already in the first session, two very concrete ideas for action emerged: the preparation of a citizens' council on finance and the campaign "Common Good Account at my bank" (see Action!). I am considering to offer this course also in English in the near future!

IV. Travels

Denmark trip

One of the few trips possible this year took me to the Impact the Future conference in Sønderborg, Denmark. The two partners Culture Works and Startupguide jointly put together this event with international appeal. I was allowed to contribute a keynote on the common good economy, between John Elkington, Pardis Shafafi and Michael Møller. In pandemic times, a bit of international conference air was very good. The swim in the cool Baltic Sea complemented the program perfectly.

> Impact the Future

V. Networking

SDG Plattform Austria

In the last newsletter, I reported on the establishment of the "Task Force Non-financial Reporting" on the SDG Watch Austria platform. The first act was the submission of comments on the EU Commission's draft directive for CSRD. At the invitation of the Ministry of Justice, we participated in an online hearing, which, however, did not allow for an in-depth exchange in the limited time of the session and due to the large number of participants. The Ministry of Justice has so far declined an additional request for a deeper exchange. 

> Article on SDG Watch Austria (DE)

Doughnut Economics Action Lab

Kate Raworth has added a Business & Enterprise Lead to the DEAL (Doughnut Economics Action Lab). Three GWÖ activists met Erinch Sahan to explore concrete collaboration options. This puts the collaboration with the Doughnut Economy team on a formal footing. 

> DEAL team

Goodbye to commons-theorist Silke Helfrich

A sad farewell took place in November. Silke Helfrich, commons theorist and co-initiator of the Netzwerk Ökonomischer Wandel (NOW), left us in November during a stay in the Alps. The news of her death came as a complete surprise, Silke leaves a big gap in the field of alternative economies and civil society networking. I had worked with her regularly in the framework of NOW. Her inquiring, questioning and creative spirit will be missed.
R. I. P.

> Obituary on NOW (DE)

VI. Dance

Vienna Summer of Culture

Together with Magoa Hanke I performed for the first time at the Kultursommer Wien, with "Liquid Common Good - Dance for Future". We combined political messages with dance, performance and acrobatics and caught a beautiful summer evening!

> Liquid Common Good / Dance for Future (DE)
VII. Pandemic in Discourse

When the pandemic began in March 2020, I immediately had a strange gut feeling. To articulate this unease, I started with five "vlogs." In the fall of 2020, I began to put down on paper my perception of the bigger picture ofwhat was happening. However, media in Austria refused to print my perspective. I was unsure, but met people who had a very similar view of the overall event. The result of this exchange process was a 67-page booklet, "Putting the pandemic into a proportionate perspective. Alternatives to lockdown and laissez-faire", which we published on July 15. While in Germany some media up to the public ARD took up the initiative, in Austria it remained silent. The 16 authors included feedback, which was largely positive, into a short paper with concrete recommendations for an alternative way of dealing with the pandemic. The plea "For a new togetherness and understanding of health. 12 Steps out of the Corona crisis" was supported by 25 initiatives, but its publication in mid-October met with virtually no media response.

The situation was quite different with a text I published on November 11 to counter the growing pressure on people who have not yet decided for or against a Covid 19 vaccination, and their collective defamation. I wanted to show by my own example that there are numerous reasons that prevent some people from vaccinating, without having to be against vaccination in principle. My "30 reasons" were refused once again by Austrian quality media, that's why I published them on the NachDenkSeiten. This text caused a very strong echo - positive and negative. Some people were really disappointed and few even quitted membership in the ECG. I therefore added some clarifying words on my website after a few weeks in which I hoped for reassurance. At present, like many others, I am very concerned about the climate of discourse and the social divide that I had hoped to help prevent.

> Putting corona into a proportionate perspective (July 15 2021) (DE)
> MDR interview on the paper (July 29 2021) (DE)
> 12 steps out of the Corona crisis (October 15 2021) (DE)
> Ending the social divide (Wiener Zeitung, September 8 2021) (DE)
> 30 reasons why I don't vaccinate at the moment (NDS, November 11 2021) (DE)
> Reflections on the echo of the 30 reasons (Corona diary, December 12 2021) (DE)

VIII. Media coverage

Own texts

→ 14. 5. „Glücklicher werden mit weniger – geht das überhaupt?“ in Salzburger Nachrichten (DE)
→ 14. 5. Interview mit Vivian Dittmar in Salzburger Nachrichten (DE)
→ 3. 7. „Neues von Tim Jackson“, Interview in Der Standard (DE)


→ 1. 7. „Wie könnte ein ethischer Welthandel aussehen“ in Frankfurter Rundschau (DE)
→ 27. 7. „Soevereine burgers zouden (…)“ in De Wereld Morgen (Belgien) (NL)
→ 6. 9. „Gemeinwohl vor Gewinnstreben“ in Salzburger Nachrichten (DE)
→ 11. 9. „Traut euch, euch mit Wirtschaft zu beschäftigen“ in der Hamburger Morgenpost (DE)
→ 21. 10. „Gemeinwohl statt Profit“ auf Tirol Live (DE)
→ 27. 10. „Dann fühle ich mich glücklich“ im Darmstädter Echo (DE)
→ 15. 12. „Change everything" with John Biewen at Scene on Radio

Reports on the ECG

→ 23. 7. „Wie eine Kleinstadt in Ostwestfalen den gesellschaftspolitischen Systemwechsel vorbereitet“ in DER SPIEGEL (DE)
→ 25. 7. „Wer bezahlt für unsere Klimasünden?“ in Salzburger Nachrichten (DE)
→ 5. 9. „Wenn die Wirtschaft den Menschen dient“ im Kölner Stadtanzeiger (DE)
→ 3. 12. „Soziale Fairness in Oberbayern“ im BR Fernsehen „mehr / wert" (DE)
→ 2. 12. „Gemeinwohl statt Eigennutz“ auf BR24 (DE)

The whole media coverage: Christian Felber's Website

IX. Action!

Participate in the ECG!
Nourish the ECG
> financailly
Common Good Account at my bank
> info sheet (DE)
Become a member of the Common Good Cooperative!
> Join (DE)
Open a Common Good Account (in Austria)!
> now (DE)

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