Exploring Buddhist Economics

E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful awakened many to the idea thateconomics does not have to be equated with growth and greed. The newvision of economics that has grown up since he wrote Small is Beautifulis reflected in many spiritual traditions.
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Buddha at Kamakura, Japan. Photo: © William Britton

MahatmaGandhi advocated a spiritually based economics. More recently H.H. theDalai Lama inspired business leaders to rethink their economicparadigm. Ancient Buddhist teachings offer a broadly similar approachwhich is also encompassed by other world-views including Hinduism,Islam, Christianity and the Tao. Quakers, Sufis, Humanists andAnthroposophists are also contributing to a common, cross-culturaleffort to feed holistic development’. This new vision has grown out ofthe grass roots experiences of community business and farmers’movements, but it also ad-dresses wider economic challenges on a globallevel.

A leading exponent of engaged Buddhism in Thailand isSulak Sivaraska. Founder of the indigenous NGO movement in Thailand, hereceived the Right Livelihood Award in 1995 and the Gandhi MillenniumAward in 2001. He rejects Western consumerist models in favour of anapproach founded in indigenous culture emphasising the spiritual andreligious dimensions of human life.

Sulak Sivaraska and VandanaShiva will be leading a workshop from 17-20 September 2003 at theInternational College for Sustainable Living, Bija Vidyapeeth, in theHimalayas, exploring how Buddhist Economics can contribute creativelyto global transformation. Vandana Shiva is director of the ResearchFoundation for Science, Technology and Ecology at Bija Vidyapeeth. Sheis also a Right Livelihood Laureate. Bija Vidyapeeth offersopportunities to explore and practice the art and science ofsustainability. The objective of the workshop is to bring businessleaders, entrepreneurs and NGO workers together in an internationalcontext to reflect on opportunities for co-operation.
FURTHER INFORMATION : Coordinator, Bija Vidyapeeth A-60, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India.
Tel: 91 11 26561868 / 26562093
Fax: 91 11 26562093
WEBSITE :http://www.bijavidyapeeth.orgEMAIL: [email protected]
2nd WEB SITE : http://www.vshiva.net

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