Support to Like-Minded Individuals and Organizations
The need for the reformation of economics is by no means an exclusive arena for IDEA. A great number of scholars, policy-makers and informed individuals have been led to the same conviction by force of events and common sense. An example of this trend is the World Economics Association, which is now the largest organization of its kind, with a membership exceeding 10,000. Its journals are widely read and cited. Partnering with and supporting organizations like this, which, being outside the academic mainstream, are typically not well funded, can be very useful.
Mathematical Foundations for a New View
Organizations such as the Fields Institute in Toronto, notably under the leadership of Matheus Grasselli, are working to establish the mathematical underpinnings of the new economics. Current orthodoxy and even some heterodox treatments often postulate versions of income and credit which do not accurately depict how things actually work. It will be a key element of this program to address this deficiency, and working with others, to provide robust theoretical foundations for economic models that have predictive value and internal coherence.
Much has been done in the work of reforming economics that is not widely taught at any level of learning. Consequently students graduate carrying a distorted understanding, ill equipped to deal with the economic forces and events they encounter in their professional lives. If the map doesn't match the territory, it is worse than useless, and often leads to predictions or advice that is likewise inadequate. It is important, both in the short and long terms, for IDEA to develop and support the development of educational materials that offer students an alternative to an orthodoxy built more on tradition than intellectual or scientific rigor. This effort is underway already elsewhere on this website, with video tutorials on a wide range of economic themes. It will continue as we create materials that are accessible and relevant to people, whether they are new to the subject or in need of recasting their understanding. We will look to be effective support to teachers looking for alternatives at every level.
Building the Community
An early focus of IDEA is to establish a forum where lively, intelligent, informed discussion into the themes and threads of the new economics can take place. That is the blog associated with this website. We will post regularly from a variety of sources, both in-house and from outside contributors, and will monitor, facilitate and react to the conversations as they unfold. We hope to balance free discussion with disciplined focus.
Economics is at the center of the public discussion in these times. The need to dispel the confusion and expose the fallacies of the currently dominant orthodoxy cannot be overstated. The public mind is a primary focus of the IDEA program. Our chief economist Steve Keen is media savvy, quick-witted and capable of speaking clearly to the level of the audience. Complex issues and often confrontational situations require a person with these qualities. Steve is internally known. He has been featured on such programs as the BBC's Hard Talk and RT's Capital Account, and has given interviews by the hundreds. His tweets are widely followed on social media. He is engaging and quotable, the ideal spokesman for the new economics.
Articles and Opinion
Alternative voices need to be projected into the popular media, the newspapers and magazines, print and electronic. That means lively, topical writing and a well-developed network of dissemination. IDEA will produce timely, journalistic quality pieces that meet the needs and make them available around the world.
Lectures and Symposia
Professionals, intelligent lay observers, and to a lesser extent, academics are hungry for a resolution of the conflict between what they have been taught and what they witness every day in the markets and on Main Street. A range of economists with insight are willing and able to expose them to the economics that works. But there is the absence of means. IDEA can facilitate the filling of this need.