Looking beyond surviving to thriving: Oxfam’s emerging vision for a new economy for a challenging 21st century

Katherine will talk, from the perspective of an international anti-poverty organisation, about the systemic crisis facing our communities and our planet and how responses to date too often entail tweaking the current system and insufficiently building a new economic paradigm. She will suggest what key elements of that paradigm encompass and how we can build it, reflecting that much of what we need to see already exists. She will share an emerging area of Oxfam’s work - the notion of a ‘human economy’, and will welcome input to it.

Katherine is Senior Researcher in Oxfam GB’s Research Team where she is exploring an economy that delivers social justice, good lives, vibrant communities and which protects the planet. Before this role Katherine was Policy and Advocacy Manager for Oxfam’s UK Program, and prior to this she led research and policy for Oxfam’s Scotland office. Here she developed Oxfam’s Humankind Index, a measure of Scotland’s real prosperity developed through wide ranging community consultation. Katherine has a PhD in political science from ANU (her thesis considered techniques utilised by Aboriginal communities to compel mining companies to recognise and respond to community demands). She is an Honorary Professor at the University of the West of Scotland, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, and was part of the GIZ Global Leadership Academy’s New Economic Paradigm project. Katherine was a Commissioner on the Fairer Fife Commission, sits on WWF Scotland’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force, the Board of Ethical Scotland, and is Rapporteur for Club de Madrid’s Working Group on environmental Sustainability and Shared Societies. Her forthcoming book Arrival (co-authored with Jeremy Williams) explores a new mantra for development that shifts attention from growth to
quality and distribution of economic activity as we seek to ‘make ourselves at home’ in a wealthy world.