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Jeremy Faludi, 26 Dec 04

faesta.jpgFeasta is an Irish foundation for green socioeconomics which has recently come to our attention. The name comes from the Gaelic word feasta, meaning "in the future", quoted from a venerable poem about losing the last of Ireland's forests to agriculture.

The think tank's mission is "to identify the economic characteristics that Irish society must have in order to be economically, environmentally and culturally sustainable and to share this analysis with the widest audience possible." As with most think-tanks, they do this by writing books and articles: "Feasta will create models that illustrate sustainable economics in action, document existing models of good practise and serve as a resource agency for other groups and projects that are developing such models." And though they ostensibly focus on Ireland, the issues they write about are equally relevant worldwide.

They have some excellent articles, many of which deserve Worldchanging posts of their own, such as a report on JAK Bank's profitable banking without interest, or a transcription of a speech on "uneconomic growth" by Herman Daly (former Senior Economist in the Environment Department of the World Bank), or a profile of Just Change, an organization intended to give Indian subsistence farmers more bargaining power in the global marketplace.

The site also has some serious radicalism to it; its Democracy Group page starts out by saying "It is clear that the configuration of the liberal democratic state is not capable of achieving sustainable environmental and economic outcomes." But even if you take issue with that, or their anti-development bent, you will at least get some brain-popping new ideas from them.

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