Do you ever question the belief that more economic growth is the only route to recovery?

That we can consume our way to a ‘better’ future by simply consuming more stuff, more quickly?

Do you ever consider that perhaps it is time to at least be open to the merits of leading in a different direction?

I am neither anti-capitalist, nor anti-growth but recognise these are double edged swords rather than cure-alls.

Working with Danone recently they introduced me to their compass test of business development, where any change has to meet the challenges of the four compass points.

  • N = Nature – can the proposed development be sustained in a one planet scenario? Does it fit with the laws of nature?
  • S = Social – will it lead to a socially just and improved situation?
  • E = Economic – will we see a return on investment? Usual investment and payback protocols apply and can be flexed
  • W = Wellbeing – will the proposed project increase health and wellbeing for the most people

Yes, the E matters. But not at any cost. So please encourage the LEPs to explore scenarios much more interesting than just the accrual of GDP.

Be more than just mere ‘whipping boys’ for the Treasury, and help us to find a genuine New Deal.