Best of SoS: Randy Hayes

This past spring, Sustainable World Coalition co-produced the 2nd annual Spring of Sustainability (SoS), the largest virtual sustainability gathering ever. SoS brought the “best and brightest” leaders in sustainability to the world through teleconference dialogues.


Each week, in our Best of SoS feature, we review one of our favorite episodes. Like what you see? Head over to our upgrade page for a special offer to own the entire Spring of Sustainability series. 

On May 8th on Spring of Sustainability, Randy Hayes gave us an in-depth look at why our current economic system is having a disastrous impact on the planet, and how we can change that.

He shared that the two main problems with the global economy are:

  1. It doesn’t account for the pollution costs to the earth and to the future, and…
  2. There’s no systematic way to ratchet economic activity down before hitting carrying capacity limits.

These need to be addressed systematically by accounting for the pollution that is produced, which would then show up in the price we pay for products.

Climate change is not the actual problem; climate change is a symptom of a deeper problem. We need to get to the root causes. A true cost economy is what needs to be instituted.

This would be a highly decentralized set of economic systems as opposed to a singular global economy: continental networks of bioregional economies. Each continent should be 95% self reliant – which is how it was 100 years ago.

We’re outsourcing the pollution, but we all live “downstream” – e.g., we are breathing air pollution in California that comes from China. We should think more in terms of the planetary biosphere’s life support systems and how we can unify the planet and focus on solutions.

Helpful Resource: his organization, Foundation Earth, has created a “report card” called the Economic Rethink, available on their website, It rates countries on 16 key initiatives around the world using a whole systems approach – including economy, ecology and social equity.

To hear the rest of Randy’s interview, visit our upgrade page!

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