Buddhist Economics

The Buddhist Economics Research Platform is a joint initiative of the Business Ethics Center of the Corvinus University of Budapest and the East-West Research Institute of the Budapest Buddhist University. It was established by Laszlo Zsolnai and Tamas Agocs. The Platform aims to connect people and institutes engaged in developing Buddhist economic theory and practice and to spread ideas and working models of Buddhist economics to the general public.

The Buddhist Economics Research Platform is homepage is http://ethics.bkae.hu/html/buddhist_index.htm

On Buddhist Economics in Montreal

Canadian business journalist Peter Hadekel published an interview with Laszlo Zsolnai about the relevance of Buddhist economics for Western economies on March 7, 2013 in Montreal Gazette. The main message is that Buddhism can be both helpful and inspiring in taking the consciousness of businesses and customers to another level.

Buddhist Values in Business and its Potential for Europe

The Buddhist Economics Research Platform, the Loden Foundation, Bhutan and the Hungarian Bhutan Friendship Society in partnership with the European SPES Forum and the European Buddhist Union organized an international workshop  'Buddhist Values in Business and its Potential for Europe' on 24-25 November 2012, in Brussels (Belgium).  Partly inspired by Bhutan's Gross National Happiness, the workshop was designed for people from the business or academic sectors interested or involved in Buddhist Business/Economics as well as for entrepreneurs, university students and leaders of Buddhist organizations. Laszlo Zsolnai served as a keynote speaker in the workshop. His presentation was about Western Economics versus Buddhist Economics.

Is Consumer Capitalism Outdated?

Walter Moss published an article "Is Consumer Capitalism Outdated?" in Los Angeles based LA Progressive which analyses and connects Occupy Wall Street, Spirituality in Business, E.F. Schumacher's human scale economics, Steve Jobs' legacy and Laszlo Zsolnai's work on Buddhist Economics. He argues that perhaps the best we can do in our present period of malaise is to seek the truth and wisely attempt to bring our lives and societies more in keeping with it.

Sustainable Growth or Right Livelihood?

The Faraday Institute for Science and Spirituality of the University of Cambridge organized an international conference entitled "Sustainability in Crisis" in September 26-28, 2011 in Cambridge. Laszlo Zsolnai has been invited to present a view of Buddhist economics on sustainability. In his presentation "Sustainable Growth or Right Livelihood" he argued that not sustainable growth but sustainable livelihood should be the main goal for economic policies. Sustainable livelihood implies the de-growth of the material side of the economy.Zsolnai Buddhist economics.pdf

Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation - A Buddhist Approach

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Laszlo Zsolnai (ed.) Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation - A Buddhist Approach. Springer, 2011. (This book may be available at: Springer)

The book presents new contributions of Buddhist economics to pressing socio-economic problems. Buddhism points out that emphasizing individuality and promoting the greatest fulfillment of the desires of the individual conjointly lead to destruction. The book promotes the basic value-choices of Buddhism, namely happiness, peace and permanence.

Socially Engaged Buddhism

On 18-19 June 2011 the European Buddhist Union organized an informal networking workshop at the Naropa Institute in Cadzand, the Netherlands. Socially engaged Buddhist networks from the United States, Asia and Europe were represented.  The purpose of the brainstorming weekend was  to share ideas on how Buddhism can contribute to a better world, to evaluate the links between Buddhist practice and social engagement,  to encourage communication and support among existing Buddhist initiatives worldwide. Laszlo Zsolnai participated in the workshop representing the Buddhist Economics Research Platform. A memorandum about Socially Engaged Buddhism was created by the workshop participants.

Bibliography of Buddhist Economics

I produced a bibliography which collects important titles in the intersection of Buddhism, ethics, psychology and economics. It represents a body of knowledge which can serve as a good background for exploring and developing Buddhist economics scholarship. Bibliography of Buddhist Economics.pdf

Happiness and the Economy: The Ideas of Buddhist Economics

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Laszlo Zsolnai (ed.) Happiness and the Economy: The Ideas of Buddhist Economics. Typotex, Budapest, 2010. (This book may be available at: Typotex)

This book published in Hungarian presents new insights of Buddhist ethics applied to economics and business. Buddhism suggests an approach to economic life, which is radically different from what mainstream Western economics offers. Buddhism promotes want negation and selfless service of others for achieving happiness, peace and permanence. These ideas might seem irrational or at least naïve for the Western mind which is preoccupied by cultivating desires and the instrumental use of the world. However, the deep ecological and financial crisis of our era renders alternative solutions worthy for consideration. Information in English: Contents and Preface.pdf

Interview on Buddhist Economics

Norwegian teacher and writer Christian Egge is making an interview-project on “New Economy” with the background of the current financial crisis. He is doing his project in cooperation with the Cultura Bank in Oslo, Norway. Among others he has interviewed Margrit Kennedy (Germany), David Korten (USA), Ove Jakobsen, (Norway), Helmy Abouleish (Egypt) and several others. He asked Laszlo Zsolnai about Buddhist Economics.

Buddhist Economics for Business

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Buddhist Economics for Business.' , in Ethical Prospects, eds. Laszlo Zsolnai, Zsolt Boda, and Laszlo Fekete, Springer, 2009. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

The paper explores Buddhist economics for transforming business toward a more ecological and human form. Buddhist economics is centered on want negation and purification of the human character. It challenges the basic principles of Western economics, (i) profit-maximization, (ii) cultivating desires, (iii) introducing markets, (iv) instrumental use of the world, and (v) self-interest based ethics. Buddhist economics proposes alternative principles such as (I) minimize suffering, (II) simplifying desires, (III) non-violence, (IV) genuine care, and (V) generosity.