Economics where People and the Environment matter. This two-day seminar includes discussion on some of the most pressing economic issues facing Australia today.

Topics include inequality, insecurity, climate change, grey corruption, the federal budget and a campaign for a fairer and more sustainable economy, drawn from modern monetary theory and ecological economics.

Upcoming sessions

Melbourne (Williamstown Town Hall) Saturday 5th – Sunday 6th February 2022 (book online here)

Please check back here for updates on the latest offerings. We are hoping to tour the event to Hobart and possibly Brisbane this year. We have already offered three sessions in Adelaide in January, February and April 2021, attended by over 200 participants.

Course outline

The course is divided into ten units, each of which features a (brief) 20-minute introduction, a 10-15-minute video and at least 20 minutes of small-group discussion. The timetable is subject to minor changes, but will give some idea of the scope of the course.


9:30 Registration

10:00-10:30 Welcome, housekeeping

10:30-11:30 Ecological Economics and Living within the Doughnut (safe planetary boundaries)

11.30-12:00 Morning Tea

12:00-1:00 The Macroeconomic Environment and Inflation

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:00 Deficits, Surpluses and Debt

3:00-3.30 Afternoon Tea

3:30-4.30 Trade Policy and Monetary Sovereignty

4:30-5:30 Social Discussion


9:30-10.30 How Most Economists Think

10:30-11:30 Inequality

11.30-12:00 Morning Tea

12:00-1:00 Full Employment, a Basic Income and a Job Guarantee

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:00 Privatisation, Outsourcing and Games of Mates

3:00-3:30 Afternoon Tea

3.30-5:30 Conclusion – How to Campaign for a Rethink

Optional Suggested Reading List

Supplementary Reading List – The links below are provided in case participants wish to engage in extensive but accessible readings relating to material to be discussed during the course. Participants are not required to read any of the following.

If participants wish to choose one book and/or one paper, the Kelton book and the first Smith paper are the ones to read.

  1. Kelton, Stephanie 2020. The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.
  2. Raworth, Kate 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. Random House
  3. Tcherneva, Pavlina 2020. The Case for a Job Guarantee. Wiley.
  4. Murray, Cameron and Paul Frijters. 2017. Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation

An electronic copy of Steven Hail’s 2018 book Economics for Sustainable Prosperity will be provided to each participant after the Summer School.

  1. Smith, Warwick. 2020. ‘The Price of Capitalism – Markets, Growth and Industrial Democracy in 21st Century Australia’. Castlemaine Institute.
  2. Raworth, Kate. 2012. ‘A safe and just space for humanity’. Oxfam Discussion Paper, February 2012. ~
  3. Hickel, Jason 2020. ‘Degrowth and MMT – A Thought Experiment’. Brave New Europe. September 28, 2020. ~
  4. Nersisyan, Y and L.R.Wray. 2019. ‘How to Pay for a Green New Deal’. Working Paper No. 931. Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. May 2019. ~
  5. Joy, David and Steven Hail. 2020. ‘Federal Debt and Modern Money’. Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity. Policy Note No. 121. ~
  6. Hail, Steven. 2017. ‘Ignore the Trade Balance. Concentrate on Full Employment’. Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity. Policy Note No. 114. ~
  7. Sylla, Ndongo.S. 2020. ‘How Foreign Debt Undermines Sovereignty. The case of the Global South’. Rosa Luxemburg Foundation News. 19th May. ~
  8. Gittins, Ross. 2014. ‘An Economics Fit for Humans’. Ronald Henderson Oration, Melbourne. ~
  9. Wilkinson, Richard & Pickett, Kate. 2014. ‘A Convenient Truth’. Fabian Ideas 638. Fabian Society, London. ~
  10. Smith, Warwick 2017. ‘Unemployment Policy in Australia: A Brief History’. Per Capita. May 2017. ~
  11. SEI, IISD, ODI, Climate Analytics, CICERO, and UNEP. 2019. ‘The Production Gap: The discrepancy between countries’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C’ ~
  12. Hail, Steven. 2018. ‘Conclusion: Economics for Sustainable Prosperity’. Chapter Eight, pp 141-182 in Economics for Sustainable Prosperity. Palgrave Macmillan. ~ Chapter Supplied.