A great chance to move the needle on the reform of economics

Three purposes to this message: (1) Signal the official launch of IDEAeconomics, its activities and projects, (2) Test the reach of social media, and (3) Make you aware of the great new opportunity for relevance as our chief economist Steve Keen takes over the reins at Kingston University London with the charge of establishing the first truly heterodox economics department anywhere.

[Dispensing with #2, Please retweet and like at will. Let’s see how far we can go in social media space.]

IDEA’s chief economist Steve Keen has accepted appointment to head the department of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London. Kingston is a university of 22,000+ students (undergraduate and postgraduate), 2,100+ staff and an economics department of 21 faculty. With this appointment and Steve’s charge to form the first truly heterodox economics department in the world comes a huge opportunity for you to make a difference.

The geographic move from Sydney to London and also means Steve and his media savvy, quotability and intellectual strength will move into a media center. The disruption to the orthodoxy is delightful to imagine. At the same time he takes over the direction of instruction and the design of curriculum of entirely new forms. Instituting an entirely new way of teaching here on one hand, while representing the ideas and approach of the new economics to the broader community on another, and at the same time continuing his essential research in dynamics and monetary economics on a third. It is a big ask for one man.

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There will of necessity be sacrifice. But we can help to make Steve and his leadership in the reform of economics as effective as possible by providing him administrative support and freeing his time. More significantly, we recognize that a department of economics anywhere has neither an unlimited budget nor unlimited staff. Steve’s project in hand is not quite building from scratch, but nearly so. In particular, the strategic vision to counter the Neoclassical monoculture that rules at virtually every other economics in the world needs curriculum that does not now exist. IDEA will make it a primary goal to find the resources and coordinate the talent to get that new material in place as quickly as the urgency of the situation demands.

This was also the week for the official launch of IDEAeconomics. Not by design. We have been working behind the scenes for months, as many of you who contributed to our founders’ campaign know. This week you will begin to see the results. You can see some changes on the website, simplification and increased interactivity. Projects and features in the queue to enable and educate will be rolled out every week for some time. These are educational, research and media efforts, some large, some small, that push the mission of a fundamental reform of economics, the change that is needed to promote stability, prosperity and equity for all.

IDEA is now developing – and you can see the demonstration on the website later this week – the TSL research tool and its companion database. We will continue to assist in the development and implementation of Minsky, Steve’s dynamic economic modeling software. These are serious tools for the serious economist, powerful tools that embody the confidence that investigation and evidence will display the validity of the reform. They are free and open source and easily accessible.

IDEA is attracting more and more help from the broader community of critical thinkers and concerned citizens. Steve himself and independently has developed an impressive following of those who understand the significance of his method – many of those are now reading this message. This community can continue to be served and grow in influence to the extent we can free his time with administrative support. Mobilizing energy around the mission of reform through IDEA can magnify the impact this entry into Academia. The range of IDEA’s efforts, however expanded dramatically with the announcement from London.

Our major resource is you. Money, time and talent are all needed, plus your active engagement in the substance of the material. Ultimately it is the revolution in understanding that will bring the reform to economics. That must come from outside, not from within, the established frameworks.

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The announcement from London is a truly exciting development. It is an event that gives new relevance to IDEA’s operations. We need to take full advantage. Although this is still a first step, it is very much in the right direction, toward creating the coherent, relevant economics that is needed. Please donate if you can. There's a variety of levels. Let’s make it a big step.

All the best,

Alan

PS: Look for the long-promised facilities and projects coming out over the coming weeks. Keep updated by signing up for the IDEA Newsletter.