Discussion Paper: Towards an economy built upon human capacities of heart and mind

A viable economic strategy for the 2020s and 2030s must address the two fundamental challenges: handling the pace of technological change, on the one hand, and dealing with environmental degradation, on the other. A wise response may require us to place our humanity at the centre of our economic thinking. But how? This Discussion Paper, written by former Bank of England economist, Dan Nixon, considers the macroeconomic implications of a scenario in which we increase the overall “level” of mindfulness among the UK population. Such an uplift, we argue, could support the development of precisely those human capacities of heart and mind that we currently need most of all: our attentional skills, our ability to think creatively, our capacity to empathise. Perhaps, then, mindfulness training could help us to build an economy over the coming decades that is more adaptable, more human-centred and at the same time more environmentally sustainable?

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