New Economics Foundation

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The New Economics Foundation
New Economics Foundation logo 2019.png
Formation1986; 36 years ago (1986)
Typeecological economics public policy think tank
Headquarters10 Salamanca Place, London, United Kingdom
Chief Executive
Miatta Fahnbulleh

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is a British think-tank that promotes "social, economic and environmental justice".[1]

NEF was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) with the aim of working for a "new model of wealth creation, based on equality, diversity and economic stability".[2]

The foundation has 50 staff in London and is active at a range of different levels. Its programmes include work on well-being, its own kinds of measurement and evaluation, sustainable local regeneration, its own forms of finance and business models, sustainable public services, and the economics of climate change.


The Foundation works in the areas of community development, democracy, and economics. The foundation's work on sustainability indicators, which measures aspects of life and environment, indicated the connection between economic growth and sustainability.[3]

From 1995 to 2000, the Foundation made social audits of companies to measure and evaluate a company's social and ethical performance according to its standards. This work was instrumental in the formation of the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability to promote professional standards around social accounting and auditing.[3] NEF supported the National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning with research and reporting on "how best the Third Sector could evidence its wider impact on public services and their delivery", which underpinned the Office of the Third Sector's work programme on third sector commissioning from 2009.[4]

Jubilee 2000 campaign[edit]

The Jubilee 2000 campaign, strategised for and run by NEF,[5] collected 24 million signatures for its worldwide petition on development and poverty.[6]

Local Money Flows[edit]

NEF has also developed a Local Money Flows measurement programme, which enables communities to monitor and map how money flows through the local economy.[3]

Happy Planet Index[edit]

In July 2006, the Foundation launched the Happy Planet Index, intended to challenge existing indices of a state's success, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Human Development Index (HDI).

NEF was awarded the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies' Award for the Betterment of the Human Condition in 2007, in recognition of its work on the Happy Planet Index.[7][8]

21-hour working week[edit]

In February 2010 the New Economics Foundation called for gradual transition to a working week of 21 hours.[9]


James Robertson, a British economist, and Alison Pritchard, a Schumacher Society Council member, helped to set up The Other Economic Summit (TOES) and NEF.[10] Ed Mayo was Chief Executive from 1992 until 2003.[11] The current chief executive is Miatta Fahnbulleh who succeeded Marc Stears in November 2017.

The organisation has launched a range of new organisations to promote its ideas, including the Ethical Trading Initiative, AccountAbility, Time Banking UK, London Rebuilding Society, the Community Development Finance Association, and others.

The organisation's current projects include work on community-based housing, worker organising in the digital economy, restoring local banking and challenging xenophobia and racism in the Brexit debate. It is also active in community economic regeneration. The Foundation's BizFizz programme, an entrepreneurship development programme, has created more than 900 new businesses in deprived areas. The organisation has now taken this and Local Alchemy to six other countries through its international programme.

The Foundation's public events attract well-known speakers. Its Clone Town campaign in favour of local economic diversity was covered two years running by every major national newspaper and TV news station and it was taken up in the Save Our Small Shops Campaign in the Evening Standard.


NEF is a registered charity and is funded by individual supporters, public finance businesses and international grant-giving bodies.[12]

The New Economics Foundation has been rated as 'broadly transparent' in its funding by Transparify[13] and has been given an A grade for funding transparency by Who Funds You?[14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ new economics foundation website, What We Do.
  2. ^ "The Other Economic Summit and the New Economics Foundation". Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "The other economic summit and the New Economics Foundation".
  4. ^ Cabinet Office, Office of the Third Sector, National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning - a better return: setting the foundations for intelligent commissioning to achieve value for money, published January 2009, accessed 29 June 2021
  5. ^ Greenhill, Romilly (February 2002). The unbreakable link - debt relief and the millennium development goals. New Economics Foundation and Jubilee Debt Campaign.
  6. ^ Jubilee research. New Economics Foundation.
  7. ^ New Economics Foundation, National Accounts of Well-being: bringing real wealth onto the balance sheet, published January 2009, accessed 14 May 2021
  8. ^ International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Award for the Betterment of the Human Condition, accessed 14 May 2021
  9. ^ "21 hours". New Economics Foundation. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  10. ^ Schumacher Society, Schumacher Briefing: Transforming Economic Life - A Millennial Change
  11. ^ The Guardian, 14 July 2009, Ed Mayo resigns from Consumer Focus
  12. ^ "Schumacher Briefing".[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Round-Up of Transparify 2018 Ratings". Transparify. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  14. ^ "New Economics Foundation | Who Funds You?". Retrieved 7 July 2019.

External links[edit]