America likes to envision itself as the shining beacon at the top of the hill, the leading democratic example for other countries to admire and attempt to imitate. However, in the current environment of America’s ruthless capitalism, are we still the land of opportunity that we once were?
James Gustave “Gus” Speth has researched the 20 leading advanced democracies through a lens of 30 key indicators of national well-being, and has come to the conclusion that we rank dead last. After decades of progressive effort, America’s political economy requires deep, systemic changes if we are to hand down an attractive American system to our grandchildren. Professor Speth will discuss how this transformative change can come about, and what life would be like in this improved future that he calls “America the Possible.”
James Gustave Speth joined the faculty of the Vermont Law School as Professor of Law in 2010. He also currently serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow at both Demos and the United Nations Foundation. In 2009 he completed his decade-long tenure as Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. From 1993 to 1999, Gus Speth was Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality (Carter Administration); and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council. He is the author, co-author or editor of seven books including the award-winning The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism and most recently, America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, published by Yale Press in September 2012. Professor Speth currently serves on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Economics Institute, New Economy Network, Center for a New American Dream, Climate Reality Project, and the Institute for Sustainable Communities. He graduated from Yale University in 1964 with a BA in Political Science, and subsequently earned an M.Litt. in Economics from Oxford University in 1966 as a Rhodes Scholar and his JD from the Yale Law School in 1969.
Please join us for Professor Gus Speth's talk, "System Change Not Climate Change: Manifesto for a New Economy," at Rockefeller 003 at 4:30pm, February 7, 2013.