Towards a socioecological transformation of the economy  – CIDSE

Towards a socioecological transformation of the economy 

An overview of concepts, approaches and practices, Misereor Discussion Paper, March 2024 

Authors: Shrishtee Bajpa, Susanne Friess, Ashish Kothari, Kai Kuhnhenn, Boniface Mabanza Bambu and Nina Treu 

As the need for a socio-ecological transformation becomes more and more apparent, the question of viable alternatives to the capitalist economic system arises; alternatives that meet the needs and rights of billions of people and ensure justice and peace while also respecting the boundaries of our planet. Transformation must not be another project imposed by a powerful Global North on the rest of the world’s population. Approaches and experiences of communities struggling against or overwhelmed by modern economic expansion need to be given greater consideration in the debate. More exchange and networking among the promoters of transformation is needed, both within the Global South and between the Global South and the Global North. 

As part of a project to create a platform for networking, dialogue and learning among a wide range of actors, Misereor, CIDSE’s German member organisation, commissioned a study by an international group of consultants. The outcome is a discussion paper which gives an overview of approaches, concepts and examples. However, since there are many approaches and concepts and even more practical experiences, it cannot be complete. Participants of the platform project will add more approaches, concepts and examples from their practical work to this initial collection and enrich it with their expertise, views and experiences. 

The paper is structured as follows: 

  • Chapter 1 introduces the study.  
  • Chapter 2 on “Radical Alternatives” introduces an analytical framework called the “Flower of Transformation” which can be used to assess the transformative potential of an approach or experience and to distinguish false solutions from genuine radical alternatives. 
  • Chapters 3 to 6 present a selection of concepts / approaches and practical examples from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America. 
  • Chapter 7 analyses the differences and commonalities of the various concepts and approaches presented in the continental chapters and concludes with an outlook. 

Contact person for additional information: Kathrin Schroeder, Head of Policy and Global Challenges Department, Misereor (kathrin.schroeder(at) 

Cover photo credit: Misereor

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