Building a New Economy for Australia 2023

Categories: NENA Short Course
Wishlist Share
Share Course
Page Link
Share On Social Media

About the Course

This course will offer a 2 hour ‘live’ class each week, for 8 weeks on a Tuesday night, from 4pm-6pm AEST (starting Tues 2 May and finishing Tuesday 20 June 2023).

Each class will include a number of expert speakers, with discussions facilitated by the course hosts.

Participants will be provided with reading, viewing and listening material, to help you prepare for each week’s class. Watching and reading the set materials will help maximise your learning in the live classes.

Practical case studies and examples will be discussed each week, to enable participants to connect theory with practice.

Questions? Please email:

What you will learn

  • Develop your ability to analyse our current economic system from a systems change perspective
  • Build your knowledge about theories and practical solutions that challenge the ‘business as usual’ economic paradigm which contributes to social injustice and the destruction of the living world
  • Connect and collaborate with a network of like-minded, multi-disciplinary professionals
  • Engage at a personal and professional level, with a positive vision for the future

What is included?

  • Live online classes with Australian practitioners and experts from a range of economic sectors, designed to encourage focussed and active participation.
  • Access to recordings of all online classes and materials for working at your own pace.
  • A collection of resources (for reading, watching and listening) including real-world examples.
  • An optional assessment module for those seeking a certificate of completion and/or digital badge. Assessment will involve two elements: (1) a multiple choice test and (2) a written essay (or as an alternative to the written essay, a verbal presentation) addressing key issues addressed in the course.

Course content

During our 8 week course you will:

  • Critique neo-classical economics and learn about alternative approaches to economics, including Steady State, Ecological Economics, Wellbeing and Doughnut Economics
  • Be introduced to systems level thinking and approaches to creating positive change 
  • Learn how to critique western disciplines of knowledge and think across systems
  • Learn about Indigenous approaches to economic thinking, including the Relationist Ethos
  • Explore regenerative practices and viable solutions being implemented across multiple sectors of the economy, including work, housing, energy and food
  • Learn how to critically engage with current and emerging trends that challenge dominant paradigms and propose different approaches
  • Learn how to articulate the role and significance of civil society in creating alternatives to the current economic paradigm, and in influencing government policy and global challenges
  • Develop new approaches to your own projects, work, and career path

Mode of delivery

  • All classes are delivered online (using Zoom video conferencing).
  • Live classes will be held on Tuesdays from 4pm to 6pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time), to allow you to complete the course amid existing professional and personal commitments. Classes are informal and interactive, to enable participants to get to know each other, build connections and learn in different ways.
  • Each class includes the course facilitator and up to two expert speakers. Short talks will be given live in class, followed by opportunities for questions and discussions.
  • Resources – including reading lists and video/audio materials – will be available several weeks before the course commences, for people who would like to engage with the course materials and prepare for the class discussions.

Course cost for 8 weeks

  • $495 – per person, for corporate/government
  • $295 – per person, for community/individual

Limited scholarships are available for students and volunteers of not-for-profit organisations who need support to participate in the course. Payment plans are also available – please email us at for the details.


Assessment is optional. For those seeking a certificate of completion and/or digital badge, NENA offers an assessment module at the end of the course.

To be eligible for a digital badge, participants must have attended a minimum of 5 out of the 8 live classes, and completed two pieces of assessment:

Assessment includes: (1) a multiple choice test and (2) a written essay (or as an alternative to the written essay, an oral presentation) addressing key issues addressed in the course.

Course Facilitator and Guest Speakers

Facilitated by

  • Dr Michelle Maloney, New Economy Network Australia (NENA) and Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA)
  • Rhiannon Hardwick, New Economy Network Australia (NENA)

Testimonials from previous students

Course Content

Course Introduction and Zoom Links

  • Introduction and Zoom Links

Week 1: Introduction to Economics
An introduction to the globally dominant neoliberal, human-centred, consumer capitalist economic system and alternative economic approaches including: Ecological Economics, Steady State Economics, Doughnut Economics and Wellbeing Economics. We will also have an introduction to Indigenous economic thinking and the Relationist Ethos.

Week 2: Creating Systems Change
Explore theories and practical examples of creating systems change to enable a move to a new economy which centres human and ecological wellbeing.

Week 3: Social Justice and Decolonising the Economy
An introduction to social justice (and injustice) issues in Australia, including those relating to access to food, energy, housing, education and democratic processes. This will be followed by a deeper exploration of ‘culture’ in Australia, and the ongoing impacts that western culture and colonisation has had on First Nations peoples in Australia.

Week 4: Ownership, Property & the Commons
Examine the foundations of capitalism that underpin many aspects of modern society, including the origins of the concept of private property. Examine the various challenges, responses and alternatives to private accumulation and ownership in the new economy movement. Explore the role ‘the commons’ can play in offering different paradigms for collaborating and managing resources.

Week 5: Work, Business & Universal Basic Income
Examine the cultural concepts, myths and realities of ‘employment’ and ‘work’. Debunk traditional notions of ‘work’ and explore the emerging arguments, policies and actions being taken, to rewrite what the world of work can look like in a new economy.

Week 6: Housing – affordability, availability and sustainability
A discussion of the housing crisis in Australia - reconnecting with our previous themes of private property, capital accumulation and social and economic justice and injustice. Critically analyse current structures of housing in Australia and explore a range of rapidly emerging alternatives such as co-housing, tiny houses and community eco-villages.

Week 7: Energy – fossil fuels, renewables, demand and efficiency
Investigate the energy systems that have driven the ‘old’ industrialised economy - fossil fuels - and the impacts they have had on modern societies and our climate. Critique existing energy systems and explore the distributed renewable energy systems emerging around Australia and globally

Week 8: Food – systems change and regenerative agriculture + conclusions and course wrap up
Examine elements of the new economy through the universal lens of food. Critique the industrial scale food system that dominates Australia and the impacts of this system’s dependence on fossil fuels, chemicals and pesticides. Examine the rapidly growing domain of small scale, regenerative and organic farming - including Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and other models of urban, peri-urban and rural farming.

Assessments (optional)

We need your feedback! NENA SHORT COURSE SURVEY