What do we mean by ‘New Economy’?

Many different movements have emerged around the world focused on the concept of a ‘New Economy’. Although they use different labels, such as the Social Economy, Solidarity Economy, Sharing Economy, Collaborative Economy, Steady State Economy and Community Economy, they all share two key goals: (i) to challenge the current dominant economic system, with its reliance on fossil fuels, large scale resource extraction and socially unjust structures and wealth distribution, and (ii) to create and strengthen economic systems that serve the needs of people in ways that are ecologically sustainable, socially just and culturally diverse.

New economy movements around the world share a similar set of principles that we hope will underpin the emerging ‘New Economy Network Australia’ (NENA):

Ecological Sustainability:

That economic activity not only respects and operates within ecological limits, bioregional health and planetary boundaries, but also supports the regeneration of natural systems and recognises and upholds the inherent rights of nature.

Social Justice:

That everyone can participate and benefit from economic activity in inclusive and equitable ways and that this requires working in solidarity to address the historical and ongoing marginalisation of certain groups by racism, imperialism, classism, patriarchy and other systems of oppression.


That economic decision-making is participatory, inclusive and transparent and emphasises collective stewardship and management of economic resources, activities and outcomes.

Place-based/ Emphasising Locality:

Creating greater resilience and strengthening community by rooting wealth and power in place through localised economic activity.


In Australia, a further critical, underpinning principle informs the New Economy Network:

Recognition of, and working in partnership with, First Nations People in Australia

NENA acknowledges that the sovereignty of the First Nations People of the continent now known as Australia was never ceded by treaty nor in any other way.  NENA acknowledges and respects First Nations Peoples' laws and ecologically sustainable custodianship of Australia over tens of thousands of years through land and sea management practices that continue today.

NENA also acknowledges and respects the ancient, Earth-centred, steady state economic system that was created and managed by First Nations People across the continent for millennia. Australian society is in debt to First Nations People for many aspects of the modern economy - please click here for more information about the indigenous economy, past, present and future.