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, a job guarantee and a basic income, state capture, the federal budget and a campaign for a fairer and more sustainable economy, drawn from modern monetary theory and ecological economics.

Upcoming sessions

The next session will be held in Sydney on 22nd and 23rd of July, followed by Canberra on 26th and 27th August. All welcome!

We have offered three sessions in Adelaide in January, February and April 2021, attended by over 200 participants. In 2022 we held sessions in Williamstown (Vic), Hobart, Sydney and Brisbane, and so far this year the eighth Rethinking Capitalism workshop was held in Adelaide, the ninth in Melbourne and the tenth in Huon Valley, Tasmania.

Course outline

The course is divided into ten units, most of which feature a 20-30 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

10:00-10:10 Welcome, housekeeping

10:10-11:30 Part One: Rethinking Value

11.30-12:00 Morning Tea

12:00-1:00 Part Two: Ecological Economics and Living within the Doughnut

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:00 Part Three: The Deficit Myth

3:00-3.30 Afternoon Tea

3:30-4.30 Part Four: Income Inequality and Well-Being

4:30-5:00 Part Five: Economics for Sustainable Prosperity


10:00-11:00 Part Six: An Economics Fit for Humans

11:00-11:30 Morning Tea

11.30-12:30 Part Seven: Rethinking Trade and Development

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:30 Part Eight: A Federal Job Guarantee

2:30-3:00 Afternoon Tea

3:00-4:00 Part Nine: State Capture

4:00-4:30 Part Ten: Conclusion – Planting a Tree

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 on request to participants after the workshop.

  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.