Alternative Economic Development Approaches – RSE Workshop Series

Decades of traditional growth-oriented economic policies have failed to stem widening social inequalities and rising environmental harms. Local policymakers are increasingly adopting ‘alternative’ approaches to economic development such as Doughnut Economics and Community Wealth Building that seek to balance growth with social and environmental justice to create more inclusive and sustainable cities (e.g. through ‘better’ jobs, quality of life). Advocates claim these approaches can transform economic development policy, and the left behind places that typically see little benefit from traditional measures, yet there are critical knowledge gaps in terms of: their context-specific implementation; the trade-offs across different objectives; and how ‘success’ is defined and evaluated. Workshops in four UK cities where alternative approaches are actively being implemented, plus a follow-on online event, will establish a research-policy network and shared learning platform to: explore the potential for transformative change; support stakeholder implementation; and lay the foundations for future research work.

This work benefits from funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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