The zero interest, or even negative interest rates, of today present a new challenge for the economy and society, as well as to our own understanding of finance. The traditional banking model will not survive in the long term with interest rates at this level. On top of this, our global economy is increasingly meeting the limits to growth whether due to limited resources or lack of demand. The financial and economic sectors must develop new ideas and ways of working, if they are to be viable in future.
We need a form of economy that respects the limits to growth and does more justice to the life of mankind and nature.
ELIANT draws attention to the anthroposophic initiatives and businesses active in the field of finance and economy that could serve as a model. Many economic initiatives have been started in Europe and across the world – though largely ignored by the media – some of which have grown into major companies. The sectors they are engaged with include health foods, renewable energy, environmental technology, banking, medicines, natural cosmetics, hospitals, mail order businesses, clothing, household products and other items. Many of these enterprises came about because people sought to work with social threefolding ideas, or align themselves with Rudolf Steiner’s ecological concepts for developing associative economic structures and a healthy approach to money.
ELIANT sees its task as being to promote and raise awareness for issues and projects like, for example, the right to use and own agricultural land, as well as land tenure, ownership of the means of production, as well as new ways of working with money (e.g local currencies). It is also worth mentioning the campaign for long-term arrangements regarding business ownership.