Global economics: what would Buddha do?

Can we imagine a Buddhist model for economic organization?

Konchog Norbu
25 March 2014
Photo by Vitaly

Clair Brown thinks so. The professor emeritus at UC Berkeley (and practicing Buddhist herself) developed a “Buddhist Economics” course for her students this year, and Joshua Holland at last week posted an interview with her about how the Buddha might alter current economies to maximize human well-being.


Their wide-ranging discussion takes in equitable income distribution, sustainability (“ecological economics”), and the basic principle that economies must be able to measurably relieve suffering and increase human welfare and security. Prof. Brown:

“I think Buddhist economics definitely has a role for government, but it also challenges the individual to understand how they can live their life in a more meaningful way and a way that creates value for them and the people around them…Buddhist economics would definitely say, ‘Hey, let’s step back, let’s focus on our wellbeing, and how we care for the environment and each other.’”

Read the full interview here.

Konchog Norbu

Konchog Norbu

Konchog Norbu became a Buddhist in 1990 and ordained as a monk in 1993. Since then, he has overseen communications and media relations for several dharma organizations, authored the widely-read blog Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa during a four-year stint in Mongolia, and filled his begging bowl on occasion with freelance writing and editing gigs.