Hope-Despair, a painting by Feroza Unvala
2008 – what a year! As we get ready to draw the curtains on one of the most unsettling economic years in history, we the writers of the Inspired Economist are still wondering… was this year one that has left our battered economy begging for inspiration? Or have the sustainable events of 2008 spearheaded the initiation of what we believe is truly an Inspired Economy?
2008 was about the $700 billion bailout. Foreclosures. The plummeting stock market. As the year came to a close, the nation’s economic turmoil battled with the presidential election. But it was also a time when new businesses were born into what appears to be an unprecedented sustainability boom. When energy, economy and environment have taken on a new and inter-dependent definition.
As we position our economy to take off on this inspiring eve of the Obama generation, let’s reflect on the change that has come into play this year……
The First Quarter
The first quarter of the year saw the idea of social entrepreneuring take flight beyond the borders of America.
Cover of Jeffery Sach’s book Common Wealth
It was also the time when the Center for Resource Solutions launched the Environmental Tracking Network of North America – North America’s first network organization for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions tracking systems and registries. Check out John-Paul’s posts:
Center for Resource Solutions Launches North America’s First Environmental Tracking Network for Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Second Quarter
Recognizing difficult times ahead for the U.S. consumer, Capital One developed the MoneyWi$e program to provide consumers with variety of free, multilingual financial education materials to guide them in making smart financial choices.
“Working Together Teamwork Puzzle Concept” by lumaxart from Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License
Visionary business leaders informed the world that the ability to absorb and manage change is widening the gap between winners and losers in the global economy. CEOs reported a surprising level of optimism about change as an opportunity to build new competitive advantage. Fortuitous words for the Obama campaign…
The Third Quarter
The third quarter saw the economic tidal wave actually garnering destructive energy starting with Freddie, Fannie In Trouble. In no time, the word on the street was that “America Has a Spending Problem.”
The Economic Meltdown
The Base of the Pyramid
At the apex lie middle and upper class members of developed nations, and at the base, the four billion poorest people, with an annual per capita of less than $1500.For those of you who have not read his series, they make for a wonderful read:
The topic of renewable energy also began to heat up in the third quarter. As America drew closer to the U.S. Presidential elections, Sarah showed us how other nations got in on the act:
The Fourth Quarter
In the fourth and final quarter of the year, the walls of the so-called steady state economy began tumbling down redefining capitalism as we knew it. ‘Bailout‘ proved to the catchphrase. First for Wall Street…
Wall Street Bull
The fourth quarter painted a dismal economic scenario in more ways than one. Starbucks coffee came under the radar for greenwashing. Holiday spending looked worse than it had in years and even charity took on a negative meaning as it funded terrorist attacks on Mumbai, in perhaps the hugest defiance to capitalism since 9/11.
Green Collar Economy
But amidst the gloom, we could see the shining promise of a new green economy:
Barack Obama’s election to presidency only deepened stamp on the change that had already begun.
CalCars PHEV Prius
Jeff and Orion’s posts demonstrate how this change is happening not just in America, but all over the world….
So amidst a scenario of doom and gloom, there is definite promise of a new and green tomorrow.
Asgard Press Vintage DC Heroes Calendar
The new Inspired Economy promises to be a place where all of us can aspire to be more like Superman with our own unique effort to save the planet.
Talk about a year of inspiration!
Happy Holidays to all of our readers. Thank you for inspiring us to build the premier blog on the Economics of Sustainability. May the new year give us all the chance to collectively take the action that beckons a truly Inspired Economy in 2009!
Image credit: Feroza Unvala, The Inspired Economist