RLDG Economics Discussion 27: Dissemination

NOTE AND DISCLAIMER: Below are raw notes taken by AB during the above discussion. There are many errors of spelling, mis-hearing and misinterprtation. Therefore NONE OF THIS MATERIAL MAY BE CITED NOR USED IN ANY WAY EXCEPT FOR PRIVATE STUDY, AND NONE MAY BE MADE PUBLIC.

Held on: Friday 1 March 2024

Present: CA, DH, CM, XXX, JC, AB
Apologies from: DPW

Disclaimer: This is a transcript of a real-time discussion, and so wording and even content do NOT necessarily express properly the views of the participants. Moreover, sometimes the audio was unclear. The material is being shared for the purposes of personal reflection, to progress the discussion on contemporary economics. You may NOT cite or otherwise use this material in any adverarial way.

The main purpose of these RLDG discussions is to develop our Rethink of Economics, and also to serve as an archive of ideas and insights into economics from a pre-theoretical stance.

This 27th discussion is part of the series of the RLDG discussions, which started at the 2020 Reith Lectures. The main topics discussed was dissemination.

--- List of Actions [zer00]

# ACTION AB: Send BG's email round. Done 26 March 2024
# ACTION AB: Compose email to Mark Carney and send draft round. Done 26 March 2024
# ACTION AB: Contact Jubilee Centre and also Michael Schluter re our Rethink.

# ACTION AB: To tidy up the content ready for people to read it.
# ACTION DH: To read main pages of Rethink and advise on which parts to focus on editing.
# ACTION AB: Ask DH's advice on that where to publoh it; see below.
# ACTION AB: Write to BG, asking for advice on publishing.
# ACTION DH: To read main pages of Rethink and advise to whom to write it, in its current form; where it might be valuable; what sort of audience.

# ACTION CM: Send names of some journalists.
# ACTION AB, CM: Write to Financial Times and The Economist

# ACTION XXX, AB: Write a new executive summary.

# ACTION CM: To look at executive summary. [10 April 2024 AB sent round XXX's version and also the older version by NO.]
# ACTION CM: Contact daughter about the possibility of helping us.

# ACTION XXX: to look at pages as a exec summary which might be in visual form. Done 240403.

# ACTION AB: We must include Marilyn Waring's work 'If women counted' in ours, in ch 5,6 on unpaid work, and Feminist Economics in the overview of views.
# ACTION AB: Put into Chapter 5 on measuring value what CM says about the ONS Household Satellite Accounts.

# ACTION AB: Send action points in email.
# ACTION ALL: To identify and suggest helpers for this work.

# ACTION XXX: Visit website.

-- Contents

-- About This Page

[This is annotated notes of the 27th RLDG discussion.

AB typed notes during the discussion, then went through transcribing the audio recording, correcting spelling errors, inserting links, and notes and comments in square brackets (29 May 2024). This time there are no summaries at the end of each section, but instead there are indications of how various points have been incorporated into the Rethink. Some stumbles and blind alleys and extra words like "yknow", "basically", etc. have been omitted where they do not contribute to the meaning, but retained some where they might.

AB adopted two roles, (a) of editor, "Ed.", e.g. giving links to other material, adding "***" to important points attaching unique labels for future reference (actually only places for labels to be added later), or explaining things; and (b) of contributor ("AB:"), inserting responses to what had just been said, especially some that he would have made had be not been taking notes. AB's responses are added in order to further the discussion, especially in a way that could contribute to our Rethink. Sometimes he will criticise himself for what was said on the day!

"??xx??" indicates unclear memory of what was said. "..." indicates missing content (spoken but not written into the notes). Square brackets = content added by editor that was not in the discussion. ]


----- Introductions [zer01]

# AB welcomed DH, to his first RLDG discussion.

# DH: Financial modelling; which markets for future.
# CM: ... own branding
# XXX: food waste mgmt

# DH: Interested in AB's general fwk. to rethink economics measures
# from a Christian perspective, because several elements are biblical truths, and some non-biblical.
# experience of some of the topics.
# very interesting. one of the things when you are talking about what consumers spend on food products, there is a sort of transition economy when people move from self-suff informal to formal econ. people produce themselves. when I started at unilever, mkt for home-produced soap in Nigeria. And at some point, that transfers into something thatpeole pay for. so topic: how you measure / lot of economics is paying for what you used to get for free. incl e.g. security serivces: people not need to lock front doors: mkt for locks. high walls, tv cameras, but actually that is not an ecc good, except reducing vulnearability.

[recording started about 17 minutes into the Zoom.]

# AB: As I said before, recording has various advantages. I think it was on the AI group that we discussed that. I will be transcribing the recording, but anything that is sensitive will be taken out or summarised. So, for example, XXX prefers her whole contribution to be summarised. So I will do that. DH, are you happy with recording and transcription? # DH: Yeah.
# DH: Nice to know it is going to be editted so it makes sense of what I say.


----- Report on RLDG Activity to March 2024 [zer02]

# AB: What I suggested is that there be a report first, which I hope will not take very long. (Though it is now quarter past.)
# CA, you need to leave on the hour, do you? # CA: I'm home now, so I'm OK. Today there was a train strike. Just wanting to get home.

# AB: I sent you the report [on RLDG activity]. Has anyone read it? [nobody indicated they had] OK, seven things.

[The following is text compiled by AB before the discussion and from which he read to present the report.]

# AB: 1. I met DH and XXX at the Operational Research Systems conference last September, and both showed interest in a poster I put, A Systems Approach to Economics, with a heading "What's wrong with economics?" Showing our four main principles, our five perspectives, and then how Dooyeweerd can help us understand various things.

# Then I met with XXX, who very kindly hosted me in her home in January to discuss the way ahead in terms of disseminating our work. And CM, I know you have been keen on our dissemination.
# And a number of things came up. And I'll just read them out:

# 1a. We need to put things out in such as way that people will be inviting us to talk.
# 1b. With whom to start? The priority is to bring 'friends' on board, and to build critical mass [Ed: in notes: 5% of the community].
# 1c. CM has suggested this already [See Discussion 24]. Aim for symposium of those who are interested, and draw together, for example, various people, interested in heterodox economics or various other things. So that they can / Because these people tend to be in their own silos, and not aware of what each other is doing, and we could actually serve that [in helping them be aware].
# (These are not necessarily in order of priority or chronology.)
# 1d. Get a group of people together who can pray, 'covering' us in what we do. And there is 36 people who receive these emails. I always BCC so that you do not know who each other are, until you give permission for that.

[Ed. Please will all of you who pray do so. Thank you - especially if you have already been praying about this work (it would be great if you will let me know).]

# And, that is the main things.

# Oh, I have missed out something.
# 1e. Three / four parts to our strategy.

# Now, what we do with each and when is still in discussion.
# But I have been working with some personal contact.

# AB: 2. I do not know if any of you have heard of SUE KONZELMANN. She is Professor of Economics at Birkbeck University. I have been in discussions with her. She wrote a book on Austerity. Mainly negative towards austerity, but occasionally seeing that austerity can be useful if it is aimed at the right people.
# But I challenged her, saying, "Well, with an ecological footprint in the UK of three whole earths, would a bit of austerity not be valid? Might be a good thing?" And she had not thought of that. But she was open to the idea.
# So, our rethink / I read most of her book and wrote something on Austerity, which you saw in the '39 pages' [Ed. The 39 pages was a document AB sent round containing text from our rethink on all the topics that had been suggested to discuss today and afterwards]. And the idea is not is not to be for or against austerity but to understand it, and where it might appropriate, and why it might be appropriate. Especially in affluent cultures.
# She has also got interests in child poverty (so, there you are, CA). Sue Konzelmann. [Ed. Also in distribution and learning lessons from 1920s.]
# She is a committed Christian, so she is a Christian thinker.
# And I think she values discussions with us. But she could not be here today, because of pressures of work.

# AB: 3. A week ago, I was at / has anyone hears of WYSOCS, West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies? It was started by / who was the Rector of All Souls? / John Stott. A lot of schools of Christian Studies started. The London School of Christian Studies became the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies is still going, but it has just renamed itself as Thinking Faith Network.
# And they put on, every month, an Iron Sharpens Iron, where they have an interview with a leading Christian thinker or practitioner.
# And, a week ago, we had Lord Griffiths, BRIAN GRIFFITHS, who was the head of Margeret Thatcher's policy unit. And she invited him to join her because he was a Christian; she wanted a Christian thinking in there as well.
# And he is around 80 [years old], saying, "I don't know how long I have got left on this Earth, but I would love to hear from you, all your thoughts."
# And so he kindly offered to look at our Rethink.
# Now, that was an answer to prayer, because I was quite depressed in the morning (or concerned, not depressed) that there is so little interest in this. There is 5 of us here today, not 25. (Now, it's probably a good thing there is only five, but / anyway!) So, I asked Jesus in that morning, "Please, may there be someone I can talk to about this - and lo-and-behold, that evening, this invitation came.
# So I sent off an email to him. Would anyone like to see the email? [a few hands went up: DH, CM and someone else]
# ACTION AB: Send round email to Brian Griffiths
# DH: I have met Brian Griffiths, actually, several times.
# Interestingly, someone came on and said "Lord Griffiths ..." and immediately he said "No, don't call me that; call me Brian."

# AB: 4. It was suggested that we write to MARK CARNEY. I have composed a draft, but am not happy with it yet. So I thinK I will have a look at it again and send it round.
# ACTION AB: Compose email to Mark Carney and send draft round.

# AB: 5. At Sue's suggestion I obtained the book called "HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?" by Robert and Edward Skidelsky (it's a name that people know). I don't know whether they are goodies or baddies or anything but they were very interested in economic growth and how much is enough, and so on.
# CM: They are basically goodies, AB, if you are left-of-centre at least. It is Lord Skidelsky, by the way, to come back to the titles. Father and son. Lord Skidelsky is the senior. He is an elderly Labour peer these days, but he is an economist. He was an advisor and so on in Labour for many many years. # DH: Yeah, well known name. # CM: And an economic historian as well, of some note.
# AB: Well, thank you very much. What I have done is I have written a [web-]page on this. It has got three columns. Left hand column is a quote from their book, bit by bit. /

[AB: It is an appreciative critique of their book. Please see, and comment:

"http://christianthinking.space/economics/skidelsky.html" ]

# AB: Oh, JC is joining. Hi JC. # XXX: Hi JC.
# JC: I just want to stop in and say Hi. I am between meetings in Washington DC. I feel bad about not being able to join. But I want to say Hello.
# AB: we have a new member, DH, who is on the Bishop of London's Finance Committee. # DH: Finance Committee; I am doing a model of London Diocese.
# AB: JC is a practitioner in getting finance for universities in particular, and was one of the inspirations in getting these discussions going. So, thanks JC.
# So, you are between meetings, so, welcome, and leave when you wish.

# AB: I am just going through a report that I sent. CM has said that the Skidelskys are goodies if you have a left-leaning point of view.

# AB: 6. In order to present our material to Brian Griffiths (Brian Griffiths, JC, by the way was the head of Mrs. Thatcher's policy unit, and he invited us to send our rethink for him to look at.
# And I had to tidy it [our Rethink] up. So there is two pages, the main page and the rethink page. [Also for Mark Carney, etc.]

[AB. Please see:


and comment. I hope to bring Neal's original overview into this, but am still thinking about how and where. ]

# AB: 7. I have just kept on adding to it [our Rethink] when I have found anthing [relevant]; I have added it in. [e.g. adding about austerity].

# AB: 8. And, lastly, I have registered the domain name "rldg.org" [which, to my surprise, was available]. Reith Lectures Discussion Group. Because, if you google "Reith Lectures Discussion Group" we come up on top. There is nothing else called that. # XXX: Amazing.

[Ed. Currently, putting this in will take you to the above home page, but hopefully it will have its own website. Is there anyone out there who would like to design the website for it? (I found that there is nothing but us known to Google under the name "Reith Lectures Discussion Group" - surprising!) ]

# AB: Very briefly, any quick questions?


--- Questions on Report [zer03]

# CM: Did you have any thoughts (because I looked around but did not get anywhere very much) about this draft to be sent to Mark Carney. But, how to actually reach him, and how to get close enough so that it is actually read by a P.A. that actually sits in the next office, rather than some administrator somewhere, miles away from him, as it were.
# He has obviously not got a British position any more. He has Gone back into private finance with a big investment house in Canada. Except that he also UN high flying (literally) person who pops up at all the big events. Like WEF and so forth. "Broadwood" or something, it's an investment company based in Toronto. It is the investment house that he was already like a non-exec with, and he has gone back to be more active with them now.
# AB: We will try and find out. Maybe fire it on several things. But XXX and I discussed that, how to do it. So, what I will do is I will send through the draft, and ask your comments. Thank you very much.
# ACTION AB: Compose email to Mark Carney and send draft round. Done 26 March 2024

# AB: It is now nearly 2:30 so we are not going to get through many of the topics.


----- On Dissemination [zer04]

--- Jubilee Centre and Paul Mills [zer05]

# DH: Excuse me, have you been in contact with the JUBILEE CENTRE in Cambridge? # AB: I have been in the past but not with this. # DH: Might be worth [contacting]. # AB: Thank you very much.
# ACTION AB: Contact Jubilee Centre re our Rethink.

# CM: Linked in recently with a Cambridge Paper and a couple of Webinars that i joined, with PAUL MILLS.
# He is a member of a Free Evangelical Church in SW london. Which I have a friend and ex-colleague from my work in xx, who is also a member there. That is how I met Paul. We did a seminar at his church about what we are doing in xx.
# But he wrote this Cambridge Paper about the future of money. Which is an interesting read, though I disagree profoundly with a number of his points. But he makes some other valid points.
# It is a typical Cambridge Paper. It is trying to be Biblical but looking at the real existing world as we find it now. And bring those two together in the typical Cambridge Jubilee Centre kind of way.
# It is an interesting read. But I read it with an open mind but with profound bias, which I will ??? disagree with a number of the points. Particularly, he is very keen on independent banking and the use of cryptocurrencies. And I think that is a great / that is potentially a mine field. # DH: Yes. And also, incredibly bad for the planet. But I do not think Paul really believes in climate change. I am not saying he is a denier, but he is on that side of the ??? spectrum.

[AB: My opinion is that too many Christians are "on that side of the spectrum". Possibly because of the sacred-secular divide. But also because they have not been gently challenged to think about such things. Do they compartmentalise life a bit? ]

# AB: When did this come out? # CM: Only a few months ago, maybe just before Christmas, November [2023] or something. But if you google Cambridge Papers. # AB: I used to receive Cambridge Papers [but do not get them any more]. # CM: Well, they have gone through a bit of a traumatic time. They have basically run out of money, I think. # DH: Yeah, they sortof closed down, really.
# CM: If you google "Cambridge Papers; the future of money; Paul Mills" I am sure that you will find.
# [jumble of voices] # AB: You might me interested in this ??? # CM: ??? that statement referencing the Word.

# DH: I used to know / well, I do know / MICHAEL SCHLUTER quite well, who was actually founder of the Jubilee Centre. He has actually resigned, he is not connected / He has resigned from them now. He is doing various other things, various enterprises. But he would be interested, actually. ??Help me family?? income, he said.
# ACTION AB: Contact Michael Schluter with our Rethink.

# AB: [referring back to CM's comment] Yeah, JC has been involved with cryptocurrencies and environmental impact of them.
# chat 00:35:08 JC: Yes


--- How the Media Treat Economics [zer06]

# AB: Topics [we presented]. Which to go through? Let me find my list.
[CM indicated in an email that how the media treats economics needed to be discussed. AB thought that this would pave the way for the other topics - but in fact this occupied the entire discussion. ]

# AB: CM, can you be brief. You said that there is a topic on how the media treats economics. And I think that is a good introduction [to the other topics].
[AB: CM had mentioned this in an email. I decided to put this topic first, because it seems to set some groundwork for the main topics. However, the discussion of this topic was so active and full that we never reached any of the other topics. I intend that we will discuss some of them in the next meeting. See list of topics at end: those that participants found of interest. ]

# CM: I will try and be brief because I could be very lengthy, as you probably realise. Particularly because this is, at the moment, I suppose one of my greatest irritation.
# CM: My daily irritation in life is the British news media and particularly with the increasing wind-up of phrenetic activity going towards both local and particularly towards the general election that is looming within the next 11 months or whenever, at the very outside.
# And the economc reporting that goes on, where, very frequently, and of course they base this on government statistics / And it relates back to what DH was saying earlier about the whole thing about GDP. So the basis on /

# CM: There are two issues in terms of media narrative about economics.

# I suppose those are the two technical themes. And the GDP one is the biggest one. Because the problem is that there is no reference really, in economic discussion to the /

[JC indicated he was going]
# chat 00:37:46 JC: Client is early. I have to run. God bless and God speed. Andrew, can't wait to read the entire manuscript.
# AB: God bless you JC. # CM: See you JC; great to see you again. # XXX: Bye JC.
[JC left]

# CM: There is no reference in the economics discussions; they seem to be divorced from other things that come up.

[Ed: That is exactly one of our concerns in Chapter 4: the isolation and arrogance and idolisation of economics, and that economics should be seen as embedded among other spheres of life. ]

# When suddenly there is a figure about knife crime or something (relates back to what DH was saying about security). "Oh, more knife crime; well we want more CCTVs, and we will pay for some more barbed wire and for some more security guards. That will grow the economy, won't it!".
# Yes but it is completely useless, and bad.
# You have this distinction in our work, don't you AB. ??Sure some?? Bad.

[Ed: That relates to our concern in Chapter 7 that so much economic activity is either useless or harmful. ]


--- How To Get Media to Change [zer07]

# AB: OK, let me stop you there, CM.
# CM: There is the problem in the media.
# CM: And how can we try to get them to change that framing of the problem.
# AB: That is what I was going to ask you: "How can we try to get them to change?" Any ideas?


--- Writing Complaints [zer08]

# CM: Well I have taken to writing complaints. ***

# [Example] I started with one about / they had a news item on the BBC website about what is government borrowing and why is it needed? And it is completely wrong.
# It absolutely contradicts basic economic knowledge. Like based on a 40-year-old textbook, which is probably what the economic correspondents got if they did even read economics. But it is probably what they got when they read economics 20 years ago. Because they were still using out-of-date books twenty years ago.

# AB: OK, so how have you got on with complaining?
# CM: They sent me a message thanking me for my complaint, saying it is more complicated and they need more time. And they will come back to me later. They have referred it to the people who organised the particular story.
# AB: Alright, so you have actually got a non-computerized reply! # CM: I think it was non-comp / somebody must have had to select the button from a menu to send me the automatic reply. I think that is probably the level of human interaction.
# AB: Well, that is great. Well done for that.

# Any other ideas for how we can get the discussion changed? [silence!]


--- Contact Journalists [zer09]

# AB: Does anyone know any journalists anywhere? ***
# DH: Yep.
# CM: I know one or two, but not in this context.
# AB: Would you like to send some details through, because they might know somebody else?
# ACTION CM: Send names of some journalists.


--- Writing to Economics Magazines or Journals [zer10]

# DH: Would you like / Do you write letters to the FINANCIAL TIMES, ever?
# AB: I have never done so, but could start.
# DH: Because, actually, it is interesting. I cannot quite remember what it was about, but it was one of those economic queries that I sent to the Financial Times and I got a few replies from various thinktanks. ***
# And I never really followed them up, because I was working too hard.
# But it is worth doing that.

# Or writing to THE ECONOMIST. ***
# The Economist could commission you to do an article. ***
# With our company /
# We only actually managed to get one article into The Economist, because we were working on the value on Chinese Yen. Which we thought was overvalued. So we wrote an article, saying "Look, it was overvalued", and we get a reply back from an economist on "Please can you write an article about why the Chinese Government actually think it is undervalued."
# Then we discovered the reason why and so we wrote an article about that.

# DH: Maybe you should have a go at some economic journalism, CM.
# CM: Well, I could style myself "Professor" because that is a title that has been awarded to me, but it has been awarded by a rather unusual place. [laughter] [redacted]
# CM: I can have a go at that. But / or it might it might look better coming even with one or two signatories rather than just a single one. [zoom mix] # CM: You are a genuine professor, aren't you AB. # AB: Yes.

# ACTION AB, CM: Write to Financial Times and The Economist

# AB: DH, did you write an article for the FT or was it a letter?
# DH: It was a letter. And I will have to search my memory because it was a long time ago, but it was making a particular point management of inflation or something like that.

[AB: Both DH's and CM's communications seem to have been about monetary issues: currency values and inflation. Might it be easier to get articles or letters accepted about that? Our Rethink tends to focus on functioning and value rather than money, so will such things be likely to be accepted? See below about the need to speak to politicians in terms of money only. ]


--- Style of Writing to Media [zer11]

# CM: Can I drop a thought in. Getting something into any medium is always diffcult. I know; I used to do press releases in the trade press, for technical marketing a long time ago now.
# And you get like ten seconds. A sub-editor will look at something; it has come out of the blue, whether on paper or on email, for ten seconds. He will read the first two sentences. If it is not something that grabs his attention then, and then he reads the next three sentences and decides whether it is actually of any value. That is the amount of attention you get. ***

# But one thing you can get, as DH says, the Letters column, when you are responding to an item that they have already posted a story about, probably based on something that has come in the news.
# DH: You have to do it instantly.
# CM: ??? respond "Oh the meaninglessness of the data they have just commented on. People are saying false things about it." or something like that.
# Try and stir things up a bit. They may then react a bit more strongly. ***
# DH: Yeah, you have to react immediately, as well. ***


--- Economic Externalities [zer12]

# XXX: CM what would be the focus you said you got / it is one of your pet Ps. What are your concerns, what would you write in that document?

# CM: Well, my concern is that the whole growth story, and growth related to GDP, does not include so many Goods, the capital-G Goods.
# Yknow, the Goods, the Neutrals and the Bads, that classification that we have [Ed. In Chapter 7].
# It [GDP] does not include so many Goods and it includes so many Neutrals and Bads.
# [Example] So, growth increases the airline industry is starting to boom, because more and more people are going on cheap flights to the Med or wherever, the Canaries, for holidays. Well, wonderful for them, but actually they are now adding 50% to their household carbon impact, and that is not being taxed properly, it is not being regulated, and accounted for. So, there is a huge Bad coming out of that.
# Which some would call "Oh, it's just an externality."
# But it is a very damaging externality. ***

# So, it is that sort of thing, when there is a story like that.
# Or a more broadly based one about this whole thing that we are now technically in a recession because it is -0.1% growth or whatever it was last time, in the last quarter.

# AB: Thank you very much. I will write up something about that into / I think it is a contribution to our rethink. And also there are some actions there, which fulfil some of the things that XXX was suggesting.
# If there is anything else ...


--- The Rethink as a Book-like Document [zer13]

# DH: One quick question. Your document, you have basically got a book here, haven't you? # AB: Yeah. ***

# DH: Presumably you would like more people to read that, is that right? # AB: Yes.
# DH: Particularly people of influence. # AB: Yea, yeah. ***

# DH: So, is it in the condition where I could pass it on to people as it stands? # AB: Yes and no.
# DH: So, if I wanted to communicate this, I would send them a taster of some kind, and then say "There is actually a draft; there is a publication in draft that you can see, when we would like appreciate your comments."
# When are you likely to publish it? Next Year? # AB: [stumbled] Who knows. But let us aim for next year, for publishing it as a book or something. ***
# That is a possibility. But there is also papers to write. And all sorts of things.
# AB: DH, would you have a look / in the email, I sent you two links,

# And would you have a look and see if either of those are suitable?
# Those are probably the two neatest pages. Most of the chapters are fairly good but they need going through to make shorter. There is probably spelling mistakes and things. And there is just a few sections that consist of just notes.
# DH: Well, basically it needs a couple more steps in the editing process. ***
# AB: Yeah, that is it.
# ACTION AB: To tidy up, taking those editing steps.

# So, if you would like to advise on how near anything it - which pages you think people might be interested in - I would be very grateful, because it is such a huge thing and it would take me a lot of time to edit it. And I would like to focus on editing the things that would be most useful. ***
# DH: Yeah.
# ACTION DH: To read main pages of Rethink and advise on which parts to focus on editing.


--- Publisher and Audiences / Readerships [zer14]

# DH: So, if you published it, who would you like to publish it? A University Press in mind, or a / ***
# AB: It would be great /
# Ysee, CM challenged us on this a year ago. It would be great / It sort of falls between several stools. It is multi-purpose. ***
# ACTION AB: Ask DH's advice on that where to publoh it; see below.
# ACTION DH: To read main pages of Rethink and advise to whom to write it.

# AB: The audience, readership would be:

# DH: Well, he [BG] would help on the publishing side, I should think.
# AB: OK, right.
# ACTION AB: Write to BG, asking for advice on publishing.

[Ed. In a previous discussion it became clear that the current version of the Rethink is not aimed at any one type of readership, so much as source material from which documents aimed at particular readers may be written. ]

# DH: Yknow, you have got something like Thomas Piketty's book, best seller, on Capital. Yknow, quite tricky to read.

[Ed. Thomas Piketty. 2013. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Harvard University Press.]

# AB: I would be very grateful if you could just have a look at it and advise, in its current form, where it might be valuable. What sort of audience. Because I just have no idea. I am not a trained economist.
# I look at it from the outside. I came into this because I realised that the way economics is done is a huge contributor to environmental damage, and so on.

# DH: Yes. The pricing of environmental damage is actually an issue which has not got practical /
# Well, it is how it is implemented actually that would be the the interesting thing, because it is not really implemented properly at the moment. ***

# AB: I have tried to make the Introduction very visual. Yknow: "What's wrong with economics?" "There is lots / a plethora of ideas: We need integration." "And here is a Rethink." And then you click on the Rethink, and it says "Yet Another Rethink" - because there is lots of rethinks. So I have [provisionally] labelled it that.


--- Executive Summary [zer15]

# XXX: Do we have an executive summary anywhere that could be shaped depending on the audience.
# AB: Yeah.
# XXX: It could help also in terms of "This is coming soon" sort of thing, where you could, if you are able to get it in the hands of the right people, these different groupings that you mentioned.
# It is an opportunity too in terms of feedback, testing the waters. And networking at the same time. ***

# So I like the idea of you giving it to Dooyeweerd; I do like that idea.
# And I am wondering if we could / if it could be crafted / concentrate right now on an exec summary that informs, while we continue to work on writing material on the book. ***
# ACTION XXX, AB: Write a new executive summary.

# Because inevitably / I mean CM was rasing the point about the journalist.
# And if for example we got in touch with a journalist we know they do not like reading so however you look at, we need to summarise the juicy bits.

# And I like the point that was made earlier about / I do not know who raised the issue / but which would be probably the most relevant (you could probably say right now) chapter that we could include and say that there are other aspects that will be covered. ***
# I dunno; I am just saying "It needs an exec summary."

# AB: Well, in a way I am hoping that the home pages is an exec / yknow, start reading the home pages.
# I would value your look at it and see /
# I mean, it is not an exec summary in terms of having six paragraphs on a single page of A4, but it is more visual than that, the main home page.
# And even the Rethink page, which is the other link, the main page I have tried to get right, it is sortof an exec summary, because it starts with "Consider" four questions and for each one it is one sentence about what we do about that and a key example takeaway. So if you can have a look: do we need a kindof 6-paragraph, 1-page of A4 kind of exec summary, or would these do? Can you have a look, XXX?


--- Visual Presentation of our Work [zer16]

# XXX: I'm thinking even beyond that, I am thinking in terms of some slides. Because I am picking up on your important word "visual" which I think is a really good word for capturing an audience,
# And getting people's imaginations around the topics that you are focusing on,
# and it might not be an issue either or a both-and, so that you could have the A4-type exec summary so that could be given to whosoever, but also maybe to start translating the concepts and ideas into slides.
# Maybe about 10 or 12 slides, that you think cover the main aspects that you are wanting to look at.
# So that is again a visual element. It is a literal visual element that you could use /
# For example, when DH and I met you a few months ago, there might be other fora that we could attend.
# And if you had something going on a constant loop where people are seeing the visual aspect of what the book is about, that is carrying us on a step further. I would say that that would be some progress, because you can use that in small audiences or whatever; it is already created.
# XXX: I can help with that. ***
# I think ??? with that.

# AB: I could do that; I just do not know where these are; and I do not know what sort of thing is appropriate; I need advice on /
# If you are willing and able it would be very helpful if you would look at those two pages and then write (I do not know what you have in mind), just write an exec summary for us (OK then it can be rewritten) But what you have in mind as an exec summary. Could you do that?
# XXX: Well, I said I am more interested in the visual bit to be honest.
# I would think the exec summary is already there. It is just needs to be / it's kindof all people chisel something out of a piece of stone.
# AB: Could you please chisel something out, because I really do not have an idea of what you think is appropriate.
# I mean, it does not need to be well written, I just need to know what sort of thing you are talking about.
# So, if you were able to do that, it would be wonderful. It should not take you very long if it's nearly all there.
# And also what sort of visual?

# AB: I am actually recording a Youtube for Christian Academic Network on Shaping our Disciplines for Christ. I was visiting a guy a couple of days ago on doing that, and he is going to film it on a green screen, and all this stuff. And so that could be a visual.
# But I am going to put you down for an action, if that is alright, XXX.
# XXX: Um, yeah. # AB: Thank you very much.

# ACTION XXX: to look at pages as a exec summary which might be in visual form.


--- Animations, Tiktok and Youtube [zer17]

# AB: DH, you were saying?
# DH: I was just wondering whether, when you were talking about a visual loop, which you put on a screen, that is more like a powerpoint type of presentation. And with maybe even some animations. I imagine XXX is into TikTok type of animations. # XXX: Yes. # DH: That would be quite neat, wouldn't it. ***
# AB: OK. So, would Youtubes be any good for that, DH? # DH: Yes, that is a start. Isn't it. Because then we will be able to see your head; that is fine. # AB: Great. I wwll start / # DH: We will make sure we put a halo on it! [laughter]

# CM: Well, I am starting to buzz now, of course, because we have been talking for an hour, and we are supposed to be wrapping up. And now, the adrenalin is flowing now. thank you all for your stimulation.

# 3 things. I was going to say I have got two ideas, but there are actually three now, because another one has popped up. And I will take them in reverse order - probably forget what the first one was by the time I get to it!


--- TED Talks and Short Messages [zer18]

# CM: The last one that just popped up into my mind, talking about loops and executive summaries and so on: TED talks. Youtube is full of TED talks. And apparently they have cut the time down. It used to be 15 minutes and now they have cut it down to 9 minutes, or something.
# And it is one step up or maybe two steps up from what in marketing you call the "elevator test". Yknow, you meet a potential guy in the elevator, and you both realise you have got a room on the tenth floor of the hotel of the conference you are at, and you discover that he might be interested in your product. You have got 30 seconds; what do you say? "Oh well, we help companies blah blah blah." That is the stuff I used to do. And hopefully he remembers the name of your brand, if nothing else.
# Well, this is a bit better than that. In a TED talk or in an executive summary that somebody reads in a similar length of time. Probably they would read something in 5 minutes. TED talk is for 9, or whatever.
# But the perpetual loop is probably more like maybe 5 or it could be 10, in terms of total length before it starts.
# AB: OK. Great.
# CM: Depends where you are using it, how much time will give to it.
# Passing by an exhibit is one thing; something they look at online while drinking coffee is [mumble].
# AB: Thank you.

# CM: The other point I was going to make was about: The executive summary is something I am willing to have a look at.
# ACTION CM: To look at executive summary. [10 April 2024 AB sent round XXX's version and also the older version by NO.]
# But actually, what I am thinking of is: Could it also be (because we are talking about publishing the whole thing), the executive summary could also be structured in a slightly different way, as the book pitch. ***
# DH: Mmm. # XXX: Yeah.

[Continues below]


--- Getting Editorial Help [zer19]

# CM: I have only just realised: I have two daughters. I have had them for many years! But my elder daughter, xx year old mother of three, she works at home in Christian publishing in a niche publishing house. And I have only just connected these two ideas!
# And if we are actually wanting to publish, then we might not want to be in a niche like that. What she does primarily is, she takes pastors or other church ministers who have a book in them - as they all have - and they come and they pitch their books to her. And then she sort of commissions but also manages them, because very often they are people who do not really know how to write books. They have got great ideas - theology, church practice and so on - and she helps them shape it.
# And sometimes she says, "Well, chapter 3 is three times too long and chapter 1 is too short" - all that sort of stuff. Getting the balance and getting the structure right. And even the sequence of topics.
# But I do not know how much she would be helpful on this, because it is too technical; it is outside her area of knowhow.
# AB: Useful.
# She might well help on how to create it as a pitch for a book to a publisher, even if she was not at all interested in taking it on herself.
# XXX: That is brilliant.
# AB: Right, thank you very much; my goodness this is a /

# ACTION CM: Contact daughter about the possibility of helping us.

# XXX: I like the idea of the TED talk too. Because they use a lot in business schools. A lot. We refer students to them. I am myself have listened to quite a few. And I love the fact that they are snappy, informative and interesting. Beyond just the usual interview.
# I think there is a real opening there! ***

# [CM,AB voices confused ]


--- TED Talks, contd [zer20]

[continued from above]

# AB: Do we get invited [to do a TED talk]?
# CM: Well, you have to be invited by the TED people. How that works, I am not quite sure.
# There is two or three different ways it works.
# There is the full-on TED talk, when you get invited and you go on stage, and you really have to be slick to do that. And those are in an event.
# But then there is subsets of that at a specific location so that / Yknow, it is TED-X and then it is with a subtitle of the location. And some of those are much more informal; they are lower key. ***
# But they also / They all make it onto Youtube; that is the crucial thing. So people can then link to them.
# I have never been in the room in any of these events, but I have watched.
# AB: Right: OK, so /


--- Influencing Students [zer21]

# CM: My other thought was coming back, linking that the university ??years??. And I think that is a key thing of XXX's.
# It is perhaps a little bit longer term and strategic - to be able to get to the people who are already the thinktank people, the academics who advise policy, and so on, in order to have more traction. ***
# But the teaching end of it. Yknow, it would be fantastic if every university that has a PPE [Ed. Philosophy, Politics and Economics] course like they have at Oxford. All of our high-powered people read PPE, don't they; they become putative shadow Chancellors [of the Excehquer] or whatever she is. That stuff.
# And her economics is completely wrong! Sorry, I'm having a rant about that. They are really seriously wrong. Yknow: "We cannot afford it" and all that stuff. ***
# A bit too party-polotical there; I apologise.

# This is the problem: The students - as XXX was saying - the students get a very narrow curriculum quite often. # XXX: Yeah. ***
# CM: Even when they are reading something like PPE. ???Leave alone?? when they are in an economics department in a more technocratic university that does not even have that broader thinking around history and politics and classics and whatever else.


--- Communicating with MPs and Politicians; c.f. Child of the North [zer22]

# AB: CA? Do you have any comment on what CM has just said?
# CM: I am insulting univesity economics; I apologise for that now.

# CA: I was just thnking about a few things actually.
# First, I was thinking about one of the reports that we have just written [Ed. In CA's institution].
# So, one of the things we are working on as a university with eight other universities, is on speaking to the MPs.
# So, what we did was: we want to tell the MPs that "We are in poverty at the moment, and the worst affected demographic is the children." And we want to show how we can fix it by looking at it from the school perspective.
# So, to come up with a report that the MPs can read - and it is too long and it is not too winding, so we said "Let us think about what areas in schools that we think is a problem that needs to be fixed."
# So we looked at 12 areas. And we said "These are the 12 areas in the school and we need to fix them." And the school can do something to fix them. And the Councils and the district and everyone can come together to help the schools to fix them.
# So we looked at / we narrowed down into 12 areas and then all of us, we pulled the sources together: who has expertise in these different areas, and then we said, "OK let us write a report." Which is what we did.

[AB: So, one thing we could do is write a report for MPs. Not sure that we have such an immediate-pressing message, but rather something to change MP's ways of thinking. I wonder what kind of report that might be. See below; CA actually suggests something. ] ***

# So, then, because we already know - Like, XXX, you were saying, "Let's come up with an executive summary" - because we already know what is exactly the exact 12 areas that we were going to focus on, because we have already talked about it, we had already decided, and everybody was happy to say "Oh, we forgot about this, OK put that in" and stuff like that, so we know exactly the 12 areas, so when we did that page, it was very clear to us what exactly [were] the 12 areas that we were looking at and how we were going to go about it.
# We did not know that in the 12 areas stories at that point, so we have put forward the pitch in December. So in December we did not know the stories, like how the 12 exact / yknow the deeper stories in the 12 areas; we did not know how that was going to be. But we know roughly these are the 12 areas, these are the important things that MPs have to focus on.
# And the theme was "Put the child first."

# OK, so we did that and then we moved it and then we had already come up with a first report in January. And when we looked at that report and yknow with the statistics and everything, to show "This is the problem area." And now, why this is the problem area; look at the statisticis; amplifying it, it is already showing us this is a problem area. "OK, now let us talk about it."


--- Consider All Kinds of Issues; Tell the Whole Story [zer23]

# CA: And when we talk about it, Yknow, CM you were saying "Every time we read the paper or watch the BBC you get a stroke, because they are looking at things from a very narrow perspective."
# That even like ??orres?? CM like for example, if I am not involved with this Child of the North I would not understand why 20-year-old today / because the BBC were saying, "20-year-olds they are not at work."

# But then there is a deeper problem in that, which nobody is explaining.
# So when you bring the people from the psychology in and everybody else, from education, the psychology and the nutritionist - all of these people coming together, with the MPs saying "Yes, we had a case of poverty in the 1970s the 1980s, we need our system in a way that only those who had money could go further and could into Further Education, and those who did not have that money yknow destitute for them / Because we did these type of things, and now we are seeing the outcome."

# So, the whole story has to be told.
# What everyone is doing is doing it on a narrow basis. And that is why they are getting this stroke like "We do not understand what has happened." We are seeing the outcome, and we are trying to / to process the outcome, and we do not know how to process it. We have to go back to understand what actually happened in the past. We have to bring that psychologist in, we have to bring all of these schools and everybody in and everybody is going to tell us that whole story that we are missing out.
[54.50] [halfway]

# So, looking at it from that lens (and I always thought like this) if I am going to come up with that topic for economics, we talked about so many things.
# We talked about productivity, we talked about GDP, we talked about why are things which is not good for our health is cheaper, than things that are good for our health, like fruits and vegetables? Why are organic fruit and vegetables, why are they so expensive? ***
# ??Kindof?? they have to go for the cheaper option. And then we get sick, and they ??call it like force??. Yknow it's like "Why is this happening?"

[AB: Should add that specifically into Rethink, probably Chapter 5 on Values. ] ***

# So, we need to tall the [whole] story, And not end up being like the BBC people telling half of the story, and making people angry, like "Why did this happen?" And not knowing what to do. And Because we do not know what happened in the past. We don't know what to do moving forward. And we don't know what to do. We are just put in the middle. And we just getting angry.
# So, we cannot be one of those people.

# Tell whole story. Tell it right. Tell it from the beginning. Tell the whole thing. ***
# Then our work become powerful. ***
# So, what we do not want is what they are doing, which is telling half of the story and then saying "There you go!". ***
# XXX: Brilliant. # AB: Thank you.

# AB: Telling the whole story. # XXX: Yeah. [multivoices] seen.


--- Prioritize Topics [zer24]

# CA: If it is possible, what is the commportance that we think is going to make the mark.
# Even though, when you were coming up with the topic [for this discussion?], we had many topics, more than 12 topics. We think / Look, we need to know which topic is going to make the mark. Is going to make it. ***
# Because if it is too simple, its fit is too small, some people will argue "This is important, we need to put that through". And they said "Wait, hang on a minute; is this insignificant? If you come, we promise [to include it?], but it is not going to come for the first 12."
# Because these are the 12 most important things, which is most damaging, which is most affecting all of us. We need to put this through first.

# We need to do a bit of homework before we do anything. ***
# We need to now look at all the things that we have, anything that is good as it is.
# But we need people to then say "Lets work on this." ***

# Because every topic that we had we had an editor, right? All of us here at some time or other have spoken more about the one area that we were very interested in. And we had a lot of work in it.
# So, take that, and you be the editor of that. You champion that. And you be the editor of that. ***

[AB: CA seems to be suggesting that various members of the team should take and edit one topic of which they have experience.]

# And then people will start bringing all the things in. And then you say "This is what I want. This is more important. These things I am going to put in.! ***
# So you make a decision about that area in your vicinity.
# The important thing is: what is it, what is that 10 or 12 things that we want to put through. We need to think about that.

[AB: That is very helpful. However, how do we judge which are important? I suppose go by what others bring in. ]

# XXX: I love it. I love everything you said. You know why? It links all this thought with practical action and meaningfulness in the everyday person. Including ourselves. ***
# I think that what you have just said is really brilliant strategy.
# And I was imagining in my mind, when you ask the question, "What is wrong about economics?" I see that you have given us already a scene telling the whole story. That is a strapline in itself that we can actually use. ***
# I love it!


--- Women and Unpaid Work [zer25]

# XXX: I am thinking along the lines of the chapters already written, and what you have just said, CA, each chapter is obviously approaching a particular issue that could be linked to every / practical everyday issues. ***
# Like for example, now: The GDP bit that we talked about was very interesting.

# XXX: I have got my own thoughts about that. The fact that it is a very eurocentric way of measuring so-called growth etc. And it does not give a lot of space for a different psychology of economics. ***

# But, if I push that aside, the part that is of particular interest is women's work. And work that is considered volunteer work, not just women's work.
# Now, that fits smack into the issue of NHS [Ed. UK National Health Service] and so-called / so it shares the issue with people that are caring at home, not being supported in any way by the State, on being made to think that they are doing everybody a favour because they are looking after their uncle of their father or what have you. ***
# I can see that going right now to that area.

# It also could relate to mothers and fathers and families that are having problems finding care for children. Being able to pay for kindergarten care.
# And yknow, the fact that the extended family is so eroded.
# So I think we are onto something there. I think you have really helped us a lot, CA, in what you have just said.

# And basically, the point you are making is to link each thinking aspect to practical issues.
# And even current issues. When you open these papers or listen to the crazy journalists on television or wherever we hear them.
# To be able say, "This is done". It is an interpretive role, isn't it. It is a ??procrentic?? role to be able to say "This is that." ***
# And having that opportunity of interpreting, which is what you have just done. You have just done that for us.
# So I am onto that. I am definitely /

# XXX: Even as I think through the executive summary, the question will be "What are the everyday issues that these translate into, that the average person could connect with?" Otherwise it is too cerebral. ***
# AB: OK, thank you.

[AB: What this implies is that we need not be too concerned to make the text very academic. However, one person wanted clarity about correct use of terms like "economics", which sounds outwith the concern of everyday people. ]

# AB: Just as a point, about 3 years ago, we wrote to the United Nations, their SNA exercise, their Structures of National Accounts, on this issue of unpaid work and unpaid things that you have just mentinoed, XXX. And we have done quite a bit of work on that. So, thank you very much.

# XXX: On that topic, just quickly.
# SNA: I think I had mentioned this to you before.
# If you look at the history behind that, there is a book written in 1988 by Professor Marilyn Waring from New Zealand. Its topic was If Women Counted. And that was the basis for feminist economy that actually caused the United Nations to look differently at how they were measuring GDP etc. She was the catalyst.
# chat 01:23:24 XXX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYMCqMA0Rh4

# She went on and worked, I think, for them in 2003, with the same SNA people. And she was the catalyst that got them to think differently. That is how you got feminist economics coming into the fore about how this so-called GDP was measured in the first place.
And in fact they had left out women's work. And the excuse about not including it because it cannot be quantified and "It is not a productive sector." She knocked that down in every direction. And so it is the sort of book that we really need to revisit if we are going to deal with that. But she was ahead of that; she actually got it started. ***
# AB: What was the book called? # XXX: It was called "If Women Counted"; it was written, it came out in 1985 [stuff: AB not quite hearing the details of the book].
# XXX: She was writing out of New Zealand, and she upset the whole apple cart; that is how you got these SNA people. ***

[Ed. Thank you, XXX. Marilyn Waring's book is If Women Counted, publ. 1988 by harper Row.

Our work on it may be found at:


# ACTION AB: We must include Waring's work in ours, and Feminist Economics in the overview of views.


--- Implementation of Our Ideas And Dissemination [zer26]

# AB: I'll just ask DH [for his views]. He has been barraged for about 20 minutes. You said We are way past time - but that is normal - if you are happy to /
# AB: DH, what are your views so far? You said you would be a fly on the wall.

# DH: Well my view is that you have got a framework there, and you have got quite a lot of content in there, and it sounds as if we are moving from / Well, obviously it needs a little bit more construction. It is moving from construction to implementation, basically. It has moved from concept to content already, I think. It is now a matter of implementing it. Of getting it into the public domain, somehow. ***

# I think that both / I think we have had some rather good contributionss on that.
# AB: Thank you very much.
# DH: And ultimately, whatever you write on the, let's call it, "12 topics" can / will stand as an overview. ***

# Then there is a scope for writing separate books on each one [of the '12 topics'?], really. ***

# And we can gather teams of audiences for each one.

# I do not know whether there will be any single author books, or whether they are going to be compendiums?
# The OR [Operational Research] journal does this quite well. They have a periodic issues which are to do with yknow Queuing Theory, or whatever. So we get all the experts on Queuing Theory; there is always several papers from experts on Queuing Theory. And then there is another one that might have on Systems Thinking.
# And something analogous to that [set up a special issue of a journal]. ***
# AB: Thank you very much.

# AB: CM, I interrupted you; you were about to /
# CM: No, that is fine. I am happy to hear DH's thoughts because he has a fresh pair of eyes.


----- Several Topics [zer27]

[Ed. The conversation turned to various topics we cover]

--- More than Measures [zer28]

# CM: I just wanted to come back: XXX is making some fantastically important points about, which we have discussed in a number of other sessions, and in the material to some extent at least, the whole question about measures, what we measure, how we measure it.
# And yknow the "counting women" - and it is primarily women, because that is the way it is in most societies, even in relatively equal ones like our own. That women do a lot of things.
# It is primarily women who do the stuff that is not measured or is not measured properly. ***
# Which is of tremendous value and actually really 'holds the sky up', as they say in some places. ***


--- Not Just Another Measurement or Metric [zer29]

# But the other point I wanted to add was, in terms of our pitch or our executive summary or whatever, is not just to be yet another exercise in improving measurements or coming up a wellbeing-of-society metric. There is a lot of other people doing that. Mostly in fairly technical ways. ***

# Even the UK does it. I just looked up actually (because I knew about this but never really looked at the details) but the [UK] Office of National Statistics produces a thing called the Household Satellite Accounts. ***
# chat 01:30:36 CM: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/satelliteaccounts/articles/householdsatelliteaccounts/2015and2016estimates

# It is intended to measure the stuff that they cannot measure. And they put it into all their methodology how they actually get any great data of any great validity. But they presumably have statistictians who know how to do that stuff.
# But the last publication on the their website that I have seen is in 2016. That shows how relevant it is to mainstream discourse in economics and GDP, and economic performance of the country.

# ACTION AB: Put that into Chapter 5 on measuring value.

# So it is done. It's "Thank you so much Professor Waring. We are doing this now." Well actually ??they are not?? /
# AB: Please can you copy and paste the URL of this onto the chat. # CM: It is on the ONS website. # AB: But one never finds it. # CM: I just had it. I've got a window open on it in the background.


--- The Importance of Faith-based Reformational View [zer30]

# CM: What I wanted to say was that what I think is, not unique but distinctive, about what we are doing is that we bring in not just social value / ***
# (Yknow, a lot of these measures of welfare relate to social value, but then they often turn it into money numbers, so they say, "Well, actually coming back to CA's point about food nutrition and childhood, background, and so on; they turn it into numbers, because you say, "If only we do this then these children will grow up and be more productive and they will not get obese in early life in the say that so many people sadly now do. They won't therefore become a terrible drain on the NHS, and that is going to be worth so many billions over the next 20 years" and so on." People do those calculations.)
# It is not distinctive for us to add that, and we are not the statisticians do it anyway.

# But what we have [that is distinctive] is the social, the psychological and of course at the highest level of aspects the spiritual element. ***
# And I think we need to make sure that that is in some sense included.
# Not that we are religious nutcases (I mean we may be slightly; I am not unhappy if people say that is what i am) but that we have a distinctive faith-based approach, and it is a specifically Christian faith-based, and in our particular instances it is Reformational faith-based (it's not Catholic social teaching [CST] or whatever else - although we are open to those other aspects (with a small 'a') perspectives. We might be in dialogue with CST for example, but we do not see that as the core of what we are doing. ***

# It is actually quite interesting and somewhat shaming on the Protestant tradition, I think, that the Protestant tradition has had very little social teaching. At least theologically. And in practice the Methodists and others have been very good on getting down there and doing the business on the ground. But not theologically. Whereas of course the Catholic church has been more integrated, with Papal Encyclicals and so on, over the last 150 years on the subject.
# Anyway, I just mention that because I don't want us to lose sight of that.
# If we start to get too much into just summarising purely economic and social elements of what we are doing. ***

# AB: Thank you very much.
# That is facilitated well by Dooyeweerd's multi-aspectual re???. # CM: Exactly. # AB: Because he's got the top couple of aspects, ethical and faith. You have got the social aspects, like the social and economic, and you have got the psychological aspects, and you have also got the biotic aspect of the environmental.

# XXX: I think I am so grateful, CM, that you just got us back to home base. Because I think that the argument there about our distinctiveness is that the pistic element that Dooyeweerd talks about is actually the golden thread that runs through everything.
# And so it is easy to look at the aspects in a categorising of them. But someone just said, AB, about the pistic. It is the / OK let me put it this way: There is a spiritual dimension to economics that to be spoken ofs to be declared unapologetically. ***
# And that is part of the problem. The reason why everybody is caught up with quantification and multiplying and what have you and never-ending growth is because it is not sufficient within its original foundation.
# I mean we look at the Book of Genesis and we find the LORD God, the Elohim, God community ??wilky??. That is something that has already been said. "Let there be" - whether it was working in terms of speaking, acting or creating, we assume there was working. And God set that example for us. And so there is a deeply sacred aspect of work that I think should impact business and economics unapologetically and I think that that is what you are saying, CM, that we cannot lose hold of the pistic element. Because that is what will make the distinction.
# You are quite right in saying that people saying "Look at what the State has done with the Welfare, the so-called Welfare State, which was originally based on shalom principles.
# And so we need to be able to say that all this ??stannin??famine?? of business, economics, business management, the whole chabang is that work is a sacred effort to produce, ??defend??, to care and to maintain. And therefore that it is unapologetically pistic. It has got pistic elements there from the beginning.

# XXX: And so I am glad that you mention that because um /
# And I don't think, as you quite rightly said, that it's working particularly just the religious thing ; because you can see people who are involved in Vedanta Buddhism etc. they have that sense of sacredness in a way they approach work. It is not just shared by those of us that love the Lord Jesus Christ and are called to His purpose. It is shared across religions and / ***
# maybe this is an opportunity for us to bring that dialogue back into [the] fore.
# Because it is certainly completely absent from anything that is deemed economic.

[AB: Good. This is what we are trying to do in Chapter 3, where we explain clearly the various roles that religion in general, and Christianity in particular, could play in economics. ]

# That, to me, if you ask me "What is wrong with economics?", I would probably close my eyes and say that that is where I would start, yknow.


--- Paper on Role of Religion in Economics [zer31]

f# AB: OK, that is great! Because I was thinking of, in Chapter 3, we have got a whole section on the role of religion in economics, identifying seven insights that religion could bring to economics.

[AB: We are precise as to how the 'spiritual' impacts economics. ]

# First of all, religion in general, three insights, then the Jewish / Abrahamic perspective brings another two and the Christian brings another three [Ed. That is 8!] specifically into economics.
# I was wondering about writing an academic paper on that. For e.g. the Cambridge Journal of Economics or something like that. ***
# Any thinking?
# XXX: Yes most definitely I am here. Would like to be included. I have been looking for a journal; just found one. It's the Journal of Business Management Spirituality and Religion. Because I think that could also be / It's about 12 years old. ***
# They are doing some significant things in crossing that so-called divide. Between things that are considered important and then the spiritual. # AB: Can you pop it in the Chat? [sounds of XXX typing]
# chat 01:35:01 XXX: Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion,
# chat 01:35:49 XXX: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/rmsr20

# AB: DH, I do not know how much you know of Dooyeweerd and these /
# Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion - that is great.
# [these] / aspects - the pistic and faith aspect, and so on. It does not really matter today. But do you think it would be useful to have a / and then CA from the other side / do you both think it would be useful to have an academic paper like this: The Role of Religion in Economics? ***

# DH: Well I think it is worth have a try at / Presumably there is some / have been papers on this presumably, in academic journals. I don't know.
# AB: It seemed / I am not sure that I have ever seen any that actually discuss the role /
# DH: We are doing quite a series at our church on Workplace Economics, faith in the workplace, in particular the role of our calling to the workplace. Not only just to be witnesses [for Christ] but actually to transform the workplace and actually to see how what we do to be conscious that what we are doing is there to bless people. Including our customers - not only the rest of our staff but also the customers and our suppliers as well. ***
# AB: OK. Thank you. Blessing.
# XXX: I think that LICC has done a lot on that. You were referring to them earlier. This brother, Mark Green; I don't know if you ??? him, DH. Done a lot of work in that area, on frontline ministry and the value of work. And the spiritual aspect of work. Etc.

[Ed. Also Ros xxx at Transform Work UK.]

# But I think, because people think of economy as saving money (that is the first thing; it is always about the so-called inevitable budget!) I think that if it was / if what we had to say / a thesis that we could present : the possibility of making economics much easier [laughter] by incorporating its pistic elements. ***
# ??There would be??The root?? people who be ??the longer soil??. Because, inevitably the hearers if you do get there to hear, it is going to be all the quantified aspects "How does this create savings?" That is the question you are going to hear.
# And there are savings to be had without question when we say holistically that what CA was saying earlier, when we can tell the whole story, and when we could embrace it.

# And their culture is, the whole Ubuntu culture, and concepts from other cultures that could easily inform that. So it is just that they have been left out of the story. # DH: Yeah. # XXX: You have got a one-legged horse.

# DH: Of course, economics comes from oikonomia, which is how you organise a household, originally. # XXX: That's correct; oikonomos, that's correct, Greek. # DH: And the prime example is Proverbs 31. # XXX: Yeah!


--- Importance of Women in Economics [zer32]

# XXX: And isn't it interesting: it is back to the point you were making about the woman. Something there, there is a missing narrative somehow there that has been conspicuously absent, but we won't leave it here.
# DH: That's right, yes. In Proverbs 31 the man has the inactive role of sitting at the city gate passing legislation. [laughter] # XXX: ??? our mothers and our wives and our sisters.
# CM: It's a more important role and I / I mean I know little about Africa, I have to say, so those of non-white Western heritage and so on, I apologise. But I have read that on / people sometimes get the impression when they go to a village in Africa that the men are sort of sitting around and chewing tobacco or whatever you call it, and chatting about and telling the stories, yknow preserving the oral heritage, and so on.
# But actually they are the important people at one level. Because, if they get it wrong, the village will die. Because they do not tell the stories correctly, they do not read the weather, they do not know when and whether the rains are coming, then the village will respond incorrectly and suffer.
# Yes, the women are spending all day pounding their Matoke banana or whatever it is they are doing, grinding up the meal and flat out fetching the water and sending the kids off to the well, and all the rest.
# But actually those men do have a crucial role but yeah they can look a bit lazy at times! Until they have to go and defend the village from a herd of elephants, or something, when everything goes crazy.
# [zoom mumbled mix of voices]


--- One of Our USPs: Broader Christian Macroeconomic View [zer33]

# CM: The only thing that I would suggest though is that, yeah there are these others working on yknow, Good Work, Christian views of the workplace, being a good Christian in the workplace, and so on. But in a way, we are wanting to come to the whole topic in a much broader way. ***
# We are more macroeconomic, in a sense. ***
# There is Christian microeconomics: how you actually run your business, as a Christian businessman, how you do HR, how you treat your customers. There is a micro level.
# But what we are looking at is quite a lot to do with the macro issue. ***
# And the brokenness of conventional macroeconomics. How it leads to dysfunction and inequality and all sorts of other stuff. And the bad impact on the planet. ***

# And I would therefore suggest that we need to put in some elements (and I am sorry I have not read all the text; maybe it is in there) but we need to make sure that we do not lose sight of the aspect which is profoundly theological at a macroeconomic level.
# And well it is actually; it is not theological it is teological: what are we here for? What were we as humans made for?
# And XXX has already alluded to that, back in Genesis, the whole mandate that we are part of Creation but we have authority within it, in a special way. And therefore we have guardianship. Or whatever words you want to use: stewardship and so on.

[AB: The question "What is economics here for?" and "What is the mandate of economics?" are both discussed in Chapter 4. It seems this might be one of our USPs. ]

# And so that the work ethic comes out of that nurturing and recreating, manipulating what we have been given within Creation. As a Divine Mandate for humanity, not just to be a good person within the system that you find yourself. ***
# So actually on the one hand we are saying "Yeah, that is all true; we have to live daily life in a Biblical way." But also "We need to live or speak to the systemic issue of humanity and the whole chabang, the whole system, which has actually deviated so seriously from its original teleology, its original calling, mandate and purpose." ***
# Anyway, that is some thoughts on that. # AB: Thank you very much for that.

[AB: That is really helpful! It puts well how we see faith relating to economics: 'macro' as well as 'micro' level.

Actually, it might be more than merely 'macro'. It is to do with the structures that enable us to function economically, which are expressed in, and also impacted by, the theories and paradigms that have been built up, as well as the societal structures like legislation, policy, etc. The latter are what are usually thought of as macro, not the former. ***]

# AB: Yeah. We have actually got / the whole / Chapter 4 is actually dedicated to that, but I'm just taking down some things to add to it. It's the Meaning, Mandate and Mindset of Economics.
# I'll think about how.
# It is Chapter 3 that actually looks more at the Creational mandate, but it does bring in to Chapter 4. So I'm going to make:
# Maybe bring in [Creational] mandate into chapter 4 more.

[Continues below]


--- Working in a Biblical Way [zer34]

# CA: Can I say something? # AB: Please.
# CA: CM, you said something which I think is very interesting to me. Because you talked about, when when you run a business, how it done in Biblical way?
# And I thought, that is just running a business; how about when we are talking about finance, or we are talking about economics?
# We can have like a a series like this.
# And what I think is important, is, Yes, all these things we are doing - working on a paper or working on a book or working on a pulication, or talking about it - a lot of this is important /
# But what can we do to get people involved in what we doing? ***

# For example, we have a lot of people who are business people.
# So / Let me give you an example. I am going to start a series where, yknow, we are in the NorthEast [England]. So we are going to get people who are at home, whether they are men and women, to come to our series. And in the series we teach them about like business, how to set up a website, we teach them about money, and all of these things, like finances for women, and stuff like that.

# What I thought was striking was when you say, "Can it all be delivered in a Biblical way?" instead of just saying "OK, here is it, this is what you need to do" - which is the standard thing that everybody is doing.
# How can we infuse that and bring that people out there so that they can implement it? Like the implementation of things.
# Because there are so many people that we talk to about this, who are going out there to do things.

# So if we can come up with , for example, if we can see how we infuse this into the topics that we are delivering, and then we can put that out, and see what people think about it, and we can even write something about that.
# Something that is an application instead of /
# Yknow, we are already doing it anyway. It is not like we have not done it; we are doing it anyway.
# So now we are just going to infuse it, like some of the Biblical point of view.
# Because what is lacking is this: In today's world, what is lacking is people looking at things and thinking "How can we add value from a Biblical perspective instead of thinking of just money?" ***
# Because before everybody right now is "money money money money money".
# Because we are put in a difficult situation. Yknow, if someone is poor, the first thing they are thinking about is money, right? And "How do I get the money and stuff?"

# But what I want to say is, "Look, if you are poor, we want to give you this training, but we want to make it also in a Biblical way, so that you go out there and you do the right stuff." We already giving them the training; why not put it from a Biblical angle? ***
# CA: So, we are not just like, doing right stuff like "Oh, let's write a report" and "Oh, let's just talk to the newspapers," and "Write a book," and stuff like that. We are also trying to give people skills that they use in a meaningful way.

[AB: Great! Brings Biblical ways right into the heart of life of ordinary people. ]


--- Biblical Views: Micro and Macro [zer35]

[continued from above]

# CM: I agree. And yknow, getting down there and 'doing the business' with people, particularly those in marginalized situations, and all the rest. It is vitally important. And I am right behind you; I'm not quite with you, but I'm behind you in fact.

# CM: But I suppose that what I am thinking is that on the one hand there is that market, or that audience, for this messages.
# But that in a sense is what I am saying is that is more like the microeconomic audience for what we saying. So it is how you run business, or how you run a network of businesses. ***
# And businessmen, a Christian fellowship among business people in a particular area, and so on.
# But that is a different audience to those who are in academia, teaching people about the bigger picture, the system, those who are policy advisors (some of those will be the same people: professors who are on think tanks and policy advisers). And actually then the politicians and other people at that level, who actually have to some extent at least some influence on the way that the system is potentially restructured. ***

# Rather than just saying "This is the way the system is. And I am going to live a Christian moral and good life and do the best I can within the system." [Ed. CM did not finish his "rather than"]
# That is at the lower level - it may even be at the higher level, if you do not have agency.
# I have actually in my Bible readings recently been reading the story about Joseph. He becomes the Prime Minister of Egypt. But he does not introduce democracy to Egypt under the Pharaoh; it is still a totalitarian autocratic monarchy, but he becomes a very good Prime Minister and he basically manages the economy rather well, because of his prophetic insights. And saves those people, and of course saves God's special people.
# Which is the key point of the story ??? [1.33.08] for Special people, leading down of course eventually to Christ.
# But actually, what he ends up with is producing a totalitarian state that monopolizes the whole economy. It is like socialist planning. He taxes very heavily in the good times, stores it all away and then they all end up broke. He then sells the stores back to them in the lean times.
# So, he does not change the system. He does an incredibly good job at a very high level, but still within the system, without seeking to change it. [AB: Actually, I think he does change the system, to be one in which plenty is not squandered but used to save. The 'not change the system' claim is made from our perspective of 'totalitarianism-is-evil; democracy-is-good'. But that is a small point, and CM's main message is much more important. ]

# In other circumstances, the system is changed.
# Then, 400 years later, you have the Exodus, the people get into the promised land, and the economy in the promised land is very different to the way it was in Egypt, because it was based on Jubilee principles, and ??spec...?? and so on. And not even having a monarchy at all. God is the king. And ??diltMakeIt?? and demand a king.
# And so, I think that is perhaps a bit of a theological discourse, But I am /
# I suppose I am wanting to emphasise that the application - the right to say "Let's find appplication" but the application can be very different at different levels and different routes. ***

# DH: I was just going to say "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you." [Mt 6:33] ***
# That is the basic principle isn't it? That is what we are trying to do.
# XXX: Yeah. I was just thinking: You use the analogy of Egypt and Pharaoh etc. It was interesting that they left with a mixed multitude. A few Egyptians left too. So there were changes at another level, if we push that analogy. But I think frankly we have got space for both. ***
# I made a comment just now earlier, about not just either-or but both-and.


--- Our Distinctives [zer36]

# XXX: And I think, very well to use your word, that you DH talked about the word "distinctive". That in terms of methodology, how we go about letting people know about what we doing, and the vision, one of the distinctives might be do exactly that double dance of dealing with the macro and the so-called micro at the same time. ***
# Now, it is very very tricky.

# But let me just take for example, there is a group called Christians Against Poverty. Who could an example of the lynchpin, a layer of stratified people groups that probably we need to make contact with at some point in time, and might be an audience for example to share about the about this vision a bit more. But they are in touch with the ??phone call?? that CA is talking about.
# And they do that very well. And they also a valid facility or conduit for testing or for a pilot that involves people who have real problems, that address the bigger issue, that we are saying is macro.
# And the reason why I think the distinctives of doing the double dance, is probably something that we should very bravely pursue, is that, when you get to talk with these same policy makers, they are usually more interested when you can tell that the ideas have been tested, or that is has been brought to fruition, or that it is gaining momentum. ***
# And so-and-so neighbourhood, and so-and-so part of Scotland, or of part of Cardiff.
# So I think that has a sort of validity because you can say they then get to ??rate?? "Ok hold on a minute: these people are not just dealing with one side but they are pushing both sides of fridge."
# And I am not saying that that is necessarily going to be easy. But it could /
# Maybe there are other people apart from CAP that we should / yknow, making contact with them, and might be the first recipients of the Executive Summary or whatever else we are presenting,
# And maybe gather them together and hear what they have to say. ***
# Because I think that the policy-makers, you could sit there and talk there from now to be until Josephs cows coming home.
# And the so-called politicians.
# ??The ones that are?? not interested right now is the fact that this is an election year, and the timing of this is really in our favour.
# Yeah that you can get some audiences or topics very well. If we present them well in a way that CA is saying.

# But I think should consider doing both. And lots of look to season where the friends might help us to make those connections, and maybe do it in a way that is not overwhelming but still demonstrates again "this is that". It not just what we have written down; this is where it is making an impact. These people have been informed in grace; they are part of the whole story, however you put it.
# So I just wanted to say that.


--- Impact Research [zer37]

# CA: What I wnated to say, CM, was that, when we work with impact research, it means we go all way down to the person who is affected, and ask them what is the problem. So that we can then say "Look, this is what majority are saying". And this is how we actual manage to get our report out to to the MPs. Like that Child report that I was saying. We could not have done that if we did not have these impact projects going on. Like, basically what XXX was saying.
# So what we do is, we talk to the women, we talk to the kids, we talks to the men. And we say "What is the problem when we talk about poverty?"
# And a woman said "I can go to work; I have a qualification. But I cannot go to work because now I have a child. And our system is broken. If I bring this child over to get someone to look after this child, this is going to cost me a lot. My family members are not here, to help me to look after the kids. I have a qualification; I cannot go to work, I have to look after the child at home."
# This is / this came out from the majority of women in the NorthEast [England].

# Because the thing is, "everyone in the NorthEast is poor, is destitute, because they are lazy". This is what happens. [Ed. I think CA was quoting a caricature of what some affluent southerners, especially some Tory politicians, think.]
# And then we say "Let us go down and talk to these people" and these people are saying this.
# Some of these people are in between jobs. They have two jobs and they already said, "I am a woman and I am a single parent and I am disabled" - ysee, all of these come into light and then we bring this, and then we bring in the researchers in the field on mental health and everybody putting their input. Then we now bring it out to the politicians and we say, "Look at this."

[AB: Good. She is advocating empirical study.

However, are people, and researchers, likely to already focus on what society already considers problematic, the visible and much-mentioned problems? As Dooyeweerd pointed out, in research, we tend to have certain aspects already prioritized a priori. ]


--- The Way Politicians Think: Money-money-money [zer38]

# CA: Then we say, "What are the policies that you should put in place?", talking about how much you have to pay for this child, and all of this.
# This money thing has to come in.
# Why we have to put that money to ??revalue?? is because politicians think based on money. They talk based on money. They don't want to / If you tell them "It's a problem" they do not care: "So what! How much does it cost me?"
# Because, we talk to politicians; we know how they are.

# So we need to change our arguments in a monetary way, to say how much you actually save when you spend more here on this and that.
# Only then they are willing to listen. If not, they do not want to talk.
# They said, "Yeah, we know we have a problem here and there". That is how they talk. Because we talk to them, and we see them, talking.
# So, we have no choice: We have to put it in a monetary form [when we talk with politicians]. ***

[AB: Good point. Many politicians idolise money. Action: Add to Ch 5, on Value and money, that though we should not make money the measure of things, there may be times when we have to talk that language - but think about it rather than merely accept it. Many politicians actually do recognise 'beyond money', and there are ways to educate others. And sometimes they hide behind the 'money' defence when they feel attacked. ]

# CA: But that does not have to be for ordinary people. Because they understand the gravity of the problem, because they are in it.
# And the other thing is that, why it is important that they be listened to, is because they bring nuance to what we think is the problem. ***
# We are sitting up here, thinking "This is the problem" but we don't know, really. Because we don't experience it. These people are experiencing it.
# And the report is based on their experience, which is what we need. ***

[AB: The importance of ordinary people and listening to them. They understand more deeply and with nuance than we academics do with our theories etc. This is recognised by Dooyeweerd and study of this is facilitated by aspects. For example, Mike Winfield's MAKE] and Suzanne Kane's MAIT both help ordinary people to bring out a wide range of issues and even stimulate their own thinking.

# AB: Right thank you very much.


--- Christians and Poverty: CAP * 2 [zer39]

# AB: Wow.
# Folks, it's er / we have done double time.
# [someone uttered]
# AB: No, Christians Against Poverty is based in Bradford. # XXX: Oh, OK.

# chat 01:59:52 CM: two groups both called 'CAP': https://www.church-poverty.org.uk/ and https://capuk.org/

# CM: I have just put two links in the chat, AB. I don't know if you ??seen?? the chat as well. # XXX: Oh Brilliant.
# I got very confused because I have two or three church friends who are debt counsellors with CAP. Christians Against Poverty, which is the one XXX mentioned. But there is also a group called CAP, which is Church Action on Poverty, and they are more / I came across them and I got confused!
# The two are separate. They have slightly distinctive but overlapping zones of action.
# And it is a little bit like what we were saying about the micro and the macro.
# So, the Church Action on Poverty people are more addressing systemic issues and policy.
# Whereas the CAP debt counselling, often alongside a food bank, which is where my folks work, my friends work, they are helping really at the coal-face, at the grass roots of people, as CA was saying, actually in the thick of it and stuck, because they cannot pay their heating bill and all that stuff that we know all that about.
# There is an overlap between those two. Just to clarify that. # XXX: That's really helpful. # CM: Actually ??? both of them, possibly /
# AB: [Ed. Sadly, interrupted CM] Thank you very much.


----- Ending [zer40]

# AB: It is now four o'clock. We have done double time. Em. All I can say is that this has been / I mean I haven't been able to get a word in edgeways to steer this; it is just gone; I've steered it a little bit. But it's / I have found it very valuable, very helpful. We have not rea / we have only partly covered if at all /
# And yes / Thank you. / I think we ought to bring this to an end.

# XXX: Just quickly, AB, could you go over the action points. Because I / Could you go over the action points rising out of our meeting.

# ACTION AB: Send action points in email.

# Because I think one of the actions points should be to follow up on what CM has just said, and CA's point.
# That we just identify a little of the potential helpers that we should probably seek to increase and that.

# ACTION ALL: To identify and suggest helpers for this work.

# And you know pray about who else. Really. That is all about gathering critical mass. And about gathering support for what we are trying to do.
# So, I am going to visit the website.

# ACTION XXX: Visit website.

# But there might be other strategic agencies that we should be making contact with at an appointed time, as the Lord wills.

# AB: OK. I will add that to the list of action points.
# Who will do the action?
# DH: I think I am going to have to leave now. # AB: Absolutely. # DH: Do you want to put the action points on the email and then we will sort / # AB: Yeah, that will be on the email. I am not going to do it just now because they are all over the place.

# AB: XXX, would you close in prayer, please.
# XXX: Prayed. That the Heavenly Father would bring to fruition through us what He plans, and that "Heaven's agenda" will flourish.
# AB: Amen.
# Apologies. I had assumed that people would leave in the way JC did. I apologise for going over. But in a way I do not apologise because I think that there is an awful lot that came up. And Thank you very much.
# Very little of that has repeated what we have said before. Some has.

# AB: DH, thank you so much for being with us. Do you think you might come again. or is it /
# DH: Invite me anyway. And I hope I can / if I can make it. # XXX: Please do.
# DH: Well, quite honestly, it is an intiative that needs to go ahead.
# AB: Thank you very much for saying that.
# XXX: Goodbye everybody.

# CA: AB I would like to talk with you about the Poverty thing.
# AB: Shall I stop the recording? Stop the recording I think.
[Recording stopped]


----- Appendices [zer41]

--- Appendix: List of Topics Chosen [zer42]

The following topics were selected beforehand for possible discussion today. However, we did not really discuss any of them.
5-5.4 Productivity
5-5.5 GDP as measure
5-5.2 The Value in Unpaid Activity
8-x.x. On Austerity Policy
7-5.2 On Economic Planning Around Harmful and Useless Economic Activity
7-6.3 Trickle-Down Economics
P.3. Inflation (not complete)
6-5.5 The Tragedy of the Commons and the Free-Rider Problem

It is intended that each will have two manifestations in the Rethink, (a) a summary in the main chapters, (b) a fuller discussion elsewhere, with links. The summary is likely to be formed around three sub-headings:

--- Appendix: People etc. to Contact [zer43]

Mark Carney
Jubilee Centre
Michael Schluter (now separate from Jubilee)

Created 29 May 2024. Last updated: