Quaker Conversations #9: Do we serve the economy or does the economy serve us?

On Saturday 10th April 2021 Joachim Monkelbaan, the representative for Sustainable and Just Economic Systems at Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva, and Friends around the world as we asked: ‘Do we serve the economy or does the economy serve us?’.

The Quaker Conversations began in June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic where FWCC wanted to offer a space for Friends to gathered online, to learn, and to explore the concerns that matter to them. Each session is done jointly with other Quaker partners as we share the work and uphold each other in Quaker work.


Sustainable and Just Economic Systems

The ways in which economic systems are designed have critical impacts on Quaker concerns around sustainability, peace and justice. The Sustainable & Just Economic Systems (SJES) programme of the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva seeks human-centric approaches that improve livelihoods, strengthen resilience and ensure just transitions to sustainability for the most vulnerable stakeholders.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need to mobilize responses to the current crisis for transitioning towards a different kind of global economic system—a system that contributes to fairly shared resources, exemplifies policy coherence, and has a positive impact on humans and the environment.

Some topics that this conversation will cover are:

  • The context of the SJES programme: environmental, social and economic crises
  • The economic cycle that we are currently in
  • The purpose of the economy
  • Stewardship of the economy
  • Spiritual solutions for economic problems
  • Activities of the SJES programme

About the speaker:

Joachim Monkelbaan joined QUNO in March 2019 as Representative for our Sustainable and Just Economic Systems programme, which seeks to foster economic systems that deliver prosperity for all. Joachim holds a Masters degree in International Law and Economics (World Trade Institute, Berne), an LL.M. in European Law and Languages (Maastricht University and University of Westminster), and a PhD in sustainability governance (University of Geneva). He brings 15 years of professional experience with organizations such as UN Environment, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), World Health Organization (WHO), Institute for Developing Economies (Tokyo, Japan), and Climate-KIC (Brussels) and with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Joachim directed several Sustainability Impact Assessments of trade and investment agreements for the European Commission. He is co-founder of the Sustainability Leadership Lab, a training institute focused on raised awareness of complex adaptive systems, group dynamics, and leadership competencies.

More resources: