Buddhist Economics

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.

Sustainability and Sufficiency: Economic Development in a Buddhist Perspective

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Laszlo Zsolnai (ed.) Sustainability and Sufficiency: Economic Development in a Buddhist Perspective. Society and Economy, Budapest, 2008. (This book may be available at: Akadémiai Kiadó)

Laszlo Zsolnai edited a special issue for Society and Economy (2007 No. 2) entitled “Sustainability and Sufficiency: Economic Development in a Buddhist Perspective.” The volume includes selected papers presented in the “Economics with a Buddhist Face” conference from August 23-24, 2007, in Budapest.

Economics with Buddhist Face

The Business Ethics Center and the East-West Research Institute of the Budapest Buddhist University  held the 1st Conference of the Buddhist Economics Research Platform under the title “Economics with a Buddhist Face” from August 23-24, 2007 in Budapest. In the conference, 40 participants attended representing Australia, Hungary, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, the UK and the USA.

Business within Limits: Deep Ecology and Buddhist Economics

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Laszlo Zsolnai & Knut J. Ims (eds.) Business within Limits: Deep Ecology and Buddhist Economics. Peter Lang, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2006. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

The book aims to explore the Deep Ecology perspective and Buddhist Economics for transforming business toward a more ecological and human form. Business is an existential enterprise because its decisions and policies greatly influence the fate and survival of nature, society and future generations. Ecology and ethics provide limits for business within which business is legitimate and productive. By transgressing ecological and ethical limits business activities become destructive and self-defeating.