Text read by Mary Peters

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, calls for a change in how we live and do things got louder and louder. The pandemic had shown us the limitations of our actions and the need to change and develop in another direction. But perhaps it is a little like Christmas. It surprises us every year, even though it is an annual highlight in many of the world’s regions. Why? Because there already are structures and organisations that did not need the pandemic to raise awareness because they started long before.

One such organisation is the ECG. The Economy for the Common Good is a German-based decentralized and international movement. There are local “chapters” on regional and national levels across several countries within Europe and outside. The movement does not have a chapter in France.  Individuals and companies can join their local chapter. Each chapter helps determine the direction and strategic priorities of the movement. Financing comes through membership fees and donations.

The movement’s main tool to effect change is a matrix, also called the Common Good Balance Sheet. It is made up of four groups of ethical values: human dignity, solidarity and social justice, environmental sustainability and transparency and democratic co-determination. Working with this matrix, as a customer or a supplier helps you assess your contribution to the common good.  A maximum of 1000 points can be achieved and it is independently audited.

The balance sheet allows people to make informed decisions about the products and services they buy.  The more people involved in this movement, the greater the impact.

The movement says that thinking and working for the common good should be the primary goal of individuals and organisations. This contrasts with the traditional bigger, quicker and more profit which dominates today’s economic thinking.

As a movement, it is intent on spreading the idea through lectures, workshops and presentations to businesses, local authorities, and individuals. In addition, they develop tools to help these people measure and increase their own contribution to the common good.

Everything is focused on ensuring that, wherever you are in the economic system, all which you do is done in a model which prioritizes a good life for all, in harmony with the well-being of the planet.

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