Lecture 1: Introduction

NOTE: This information can be read in conjunction with the pdf of Lecture 1 powerpoint slides.

In this introductory lecture, I wanted to cover four main things:

1. Why Take Back the Economy is needed NOW

Reason 1: Growing inequality, which is of concern not just to civic organisations such as the New Economics Foundation (page 2 of powerpoint slides) but also to mainstream international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (page 3 of powerpoint slides).

Reason 2: Environmental degradation associated with climate change. I covered this by talking about black coal mining in the Hunter Valley, Australia and how Newcastle (in the Hunter Valley) is the world’s largest coal port, exporting coal primarily to China, India, South Korea and Taiwan (pages 3 to 5 of powerpoint slides). This was a way of locating me (in my current home of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley), locating the connections between places and highlighting how actions in one place have effects across the planet.

2. A brief overview of Take Back the Economy (TBTE)

This involved covering the ethical concerns that each main chapter addresses and the way we each main chapter is laid out (i.e. starting with a discussion of a familiar concept such as work; using a story that reframes the familiar concept; discussing the reframing in more detail; using diagrams, exercises and other visual tools; and finishing with a range of examples from across the globe to show how people are taking action around the reframed concept) (pages 5 to 6 of powerpoint slides, plus showing the book).

3. The course outline

Here we overviewed the course outline. I especially linked the organisation of lectures to the chapters in the book, and gave some context to their case study assessment (page 6 of powerpoint slides).

4. A workshop activity

To finish off the lecture, we worked through the Reframing the Economy, Chapter 1 Tool (the first tool on this page). This tool introduced students to the idea of economic diversity. It also served as an ice-breaker and way to find out more about the students (by getting them to talk about the diverse economic activities they are involved in). Here are some of the diverse economic activities of students in this class: Our Class Iceberg Economy. We finally finished by looking at Richard Neuwirth’s TED talk, The Power of the Informal Economy (or Economy D, the self-reliance economy and the DIY economy as he also calls it).

Below, you will find Jenny's reflections on what worked well and not so well in this first lecture.