Professor of Accounting and Finance: “ We have to acknowledge other values than money”
“We must change our way of thinking back to the original definition of economy, back to economising when it comes to our resources. It is necessary to save the world,” says Arne Fagerström, professor of Accounting and Finance at University of Gävle.
Arne Fagerström challenges the traditional approach to economic activity with new ideas on how to develop a sustainable society. His starting point is the prevailing thinking on economy; how we create and focus on profit and how money rules us.
“We must change our way of thinking back to the original definition of economy, back to economising when it comes to our resources.”
Arne Fagerström explains that our focus on money began roughly 5-600 years ago, when our double-entry bookkeeping started. Banks emerged in the north of Italy and the focus on money has increased ever since.
In capitalism and industrialism, all resources were for free, that was how one thought. You didn’t have to pay for natural resources.
Leaving work with a smile on your face
Now, it has become obvious that resources are not unlimited.
“In sustainable entrepreneurship, value is created in many different ways and economy now means an efficient use of resources. Value is not only the goods that spill out in one end and the service they can provide during their life time. Value is so much more than that, for instance that you can leave work each day with a smile on your face.”
Four basic resources
Arne speaks about the concept of sustainability as such for an enterprise. He has created a model called “Sustainable enterprise theory.” It is based on four basic resources: the human and social, the environmental, the technological and the financial resources.
These four resources are all needed in order to run an enterprise. The next step involves mixing them to create some kind of production, goods or services.
“It is a circular model, cyclical even, which begins with raw materials and ends in recycling, in order for the product to re-emerge as some kind of raw material,” Professor Arne Fagerström explains.
For more information, please contact:
Arne Fagerström. professor of Accounting and Finance at the University of Gävle
Tel: 0730- 300 260
Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Photo: Ove Wall