Get involved with SEED

If you’re interested in participating, or would simply like to learn more about the project, please contact Dirk Philipsen at dirk.philipsen@duke.edu

In general, there are currently five program areas in which SEED is engaged:

1.     ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC METRICS

  • Research on alternative economic metrics from around the world;
  • Publication of an alternative metrics primer (both online and in physical form);
  • Workshops at Duke with participants from around the world working on alternative metrics;
  • Direct collaboration with members of the NC General Assembly on developing better metrics to measure economic performance in North Carolina;
  • Focus group interviews and online surveys on goals and values of diverse populations concerning economic activities.

2.     GROWTH – INEQUALITY – SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

In developing collaboration with scholars and policy experts in the EU, World Bank, IMF, and international think tanks like the Centre for European Policy Studies and the New Economics Foundation, research the causal linkage between GDP-defined growth and the growing inequality, as well as develop operational metrics that incorporate inequality and sustainable development in the day-to-day regulatory activities of government, in accordance to the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

3.     VISUALIZING CHALLENGES WITH GROWTH

Work with artists in visualizing challenges with economic growth as defined by GDP, including commodification leading to inequality, unsustainable material throughput, ecosystem depletion, climate change, market failures, unaccounted negative externalities, threats to democratic governance.  We’re interested in developing short videos and multiple possible versions of innovative graphic design in order to communicate complicated data and research findings in an accessible fashion.

4.     SERIOUS GAMING – DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Develop both physical and online games asking players, by building new coalitions and collaborative efforts, to develop creative answers to core challenges such as the need to end use of fossil fuels, provide basic security to all citizens, reduce amount of work while providing work opportunities for everyone, empower localities, reduce conflict, etc.  Such games offer opportunities for players to develop, in collaboration with each other, new and creative solutions, feel empowered to make a difference, learn about both challenges and the way they play out in real life, as well as change attitudes and viewpoints.

5.     LOOKING BACKWARDS REVISITED

Put together a team of international researchers/writers/advocates (6 to 8 in number) to create a model for an equitable and sustainable society based on best available knowledge, including specialists on work/technology/economy, urban planning, information technology, agriculture, ecosystem services, democratic governance.
Use research findings for:

  1.  A fictional/utopian account of what such a equitable and sustainable society would look like, along the lines of Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (written in 1888) – i.e. an entertaining, popular and broadly accessible portrait of a possible/realistic version of a sustainable and free society;
  2.  An online version of possible solutions to today’s most pressing sustainability challenges