Donnie Maclurcan joins ISF as adjunct professor
Newly appointed adjunct professor Donnie Maclurcan cites ISF's "wonderful interdisciplinarity" as one of the reasons he's keen to collaborate with the institute over the coming years. We spoke to Donnie about his work with the Post Growth Institute and how the time is right for fresh ideas.
Despite his new title, working with ISF is nothing foreign to Donnie Maclurcan; the US-based UTS graduate has maintained a relationship with the institute since he left Australia in 2013. Over the years, Donnie has lent his expertise to advise on projects and to supervise PhD candidate Ed Langham, whose thesis draws on research Donnie has been conducting at the Post Growth Institute.
At one point run from the Southern Oregon University, where Donnie is an honorary professor of economics, the Post Growth Institute (PGI) is an international group of collaborators, whose focus is researching and advocating for a positive future untethered from economic growth. Donnie's work with the PGI can be distilled into three areas of investigation:
- Macroeconomics – monetary circulation and how to move beyond the present model of constant accumulation;
- Microeconomics – how to reorient business towards purpose-driven rather than profit-maximising behaviours; and
- Community economics – how to revitalise communities by reconnecting them in ways that unearth their existing talents and resources.
Like ISF, the PGI team hail from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines to approach their work, and Donnie sees his contribution to ISF as one of filling in the gaps with his expertise and connections, as well as looking at ISF projects from a fresh perspective.
"I think that advising on projects, giving presentations, and even thinking of collaborative ventures where there's opportunity... to bring in a piece of expertise that's missing from a project," says Donnie. "I'm not technically trained in some of the assessment measures that people would normally do in terms of economic impact analysis. What I do is look through a broader systems lens – ensuring that the different components are being thought about holistically. [At PGI] we specialise in things like asset-based community development, lean methodologies, and sociocratic organising. These approaches can bring valuable insights to projects."
Donnie's involvement with ISF is timely, with the future of finance at the forefront of conversation in government, across business and among the general public the world over. Donnie sees this as an opportunity for both the PGI and ISF, noting a seeming receptivity to new ideas and a growing sense that the future of the world depends on radical change.
"I think ISF as an institution that offers bold perspectives and respected, out-of-the-box thinking," says Donnie. "I think that more and more with COVID, people are going to be searching for bold perspectives and to see data that lines up with what they are feeling; ISF is poised to offer that now more than ever."
Donnie Maclurcan is co-founder and Executive Director of the Post Growth Institute, an international, not-for-profit organisation accelerating the shift to a world where people, companies, and nature thrive together within ecological limits. He is an expert in alternative forms of ownership; the macro and microeconomics of money and debt; asset-based community development; and post-growth economics. He’s been living in the U.S. since 2013. Previously, he has collaborated with ISF through co-presentations, PhD supervision (Ed Langham) and consultancy projects.