The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced a $50 million five-year pledge to help develop a ‘new intellectual paradigm to replace neoliberalism’. The Foundation is calling it the Economy and Society Initiative and hope it will help develop ‘common sense’ about how the relationship between governments, markets, and people should be structured to meet society’s biggest challenges.
‘Neoliberalism’s emphasis on free-market absolutism has outlived its usefulness, as evidenced by the fact that it’s worsening some of our biggest problems, like skyrocketing wealth inequality and the unfolding climate crisis. But addressing problems like these requires more than one-off policy ideas, activist pressure, and incremental change. We need a new way of thinking about policy, law, and the proper role of government to shift the underlying terms of debate and open up space for solutions that neoliberalism is currently choking off,’ Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer said in a statement.
With this funding commitment, the Hewlett Foundation joins a growing group of funders interested in nurturing a movement to supersede neoliberalism, including those focused on breaking up monopolies, increasing the power of labour unions, creating other ways workers can wield power, and pushing companies to consider things beyond their bottom line when making business decisions.
For more on the Economy and Society Initiative, visit the Hewlett Foundation website.