Dr. Peter Victor, an economist and author of Managing without Growth. Slower by Design, not Disaster, is a Professor in Environmental Studies at York University. He has worked for over 40 years in Canada and abroad on economy and environment as an academic, consultant and public servant.
Dr. Victor was the founding president of the Canadian Society of Ecological Economics and a past-president of the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science. Currently he is a member of the Board of the David Suzuki Foundation and several advisory boards in the public and private sectors.
In 2011 Dr. Victor’s work on ecological economics and managing without growth was recognised through the award of the Molson Prize in the Social Sciences by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Economic growth is the over-arching policy objective of governments worldwide. Yet its long-term viability is increasingly questioned because of environmental impacts and impending and actual shortages of energy and material resources. Furthermore, rising incomes in rich countries bear little relation to gains in happiness and well-being. Growth has not eliminated poverty, brought full employment or protected the environment. Results from a simulation model of the Canadian economy suggest that it is possible to have full employment, eradicate poverty, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and maintain fiscal balance without economic growth. It’s time to turn our attention away from pursuing growth and towards specific objectives more directly relating to our well-being and that of the planet.