, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 200–210 | Cite as

The World on a Collision Course and the Need for a New Economy

Contribution to the 2009 Royal Colloquium
  • Manfred Max-Neef


The first part of the paper is an attempt to demonstrate that what we are going through at the present time is not just an economic-financial crisis, but a crisis of humanity. It seems that for the first time in human history several crises converge to simultaneously reach their maximum level of tension. The dominant economic model is to a great degree responsible for the world’s collision course. Hence a number of myths that sustain the model are listed and analyzed. It is argued that a new economy, coherent with the problematiques of the twenty first century, needs urgently to be devised. The second part proposes the foundations for a new economy based on five fundamental postulates that allow the construction of transdisciplinary, holistic, and systemic visions to adequately understand the interdependence of all the elements that sustain life. It is stressed that it is no longer acceptable that Universities still teach economic theories of the nineteenth century in order to tackle twenty first century problems that have no precedence.


New economy Human needs Ecosystem services GPI Speculation 


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile

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