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TOWARDS AN INTEGRAL GREEN SLOVENIA

BEYOND CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM

Building upon this cultural and spiritual backdrop, now with explicit socio-political and economic intent, Trans4m, through its Centre for Integral Development, was asked by Dr Darja Piciga, who at the time – in the spring of 2013 – was working for the Slovenia Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment – to contribute toward the development of what she termed an Integral Green Slovenia. This invitation resulted from our two-year cooperation which started in 2011, in the course of preparing a strategy for the transition of Slovenia to a Low-Carbon Society by 2050. The draft strategy provides a vision of Slovenia in 2050 as a highly integrated and inclusive society with business focusing on promoting sustainability through an enhanced quality of life and natural environment (10). By the spring of 2013, Piciga had managed to mobilize a wide network of Slovenian transformation agents from all sectors of society.

The "integral" notion in the vision for Integral Green Slovenia was drawn directly from Lessem and Schieffer's (11) book Integral Economics: Releasing the Economic Genius of Your Society. Within it we argued that, building first upon its own "moral core", a particular society needed to build up a communally based self-sufficiency, culturally based developmental economy, knowledge based social economy, and life based living economy, thereby transcending both capitalism and communism per se. As Slovenia had its own distinctive orientation toward sustainability and social economy, transcending both free market and state planning principles, it was in a good position to take up such a challenge. Slovenia's 2005 Development Strategy (12) incorporated four key development goals:

• an economic development goal – to reach the average level of economic development in the EU in 10 years;

• a social development goal – to improve the quality of life and welfare;

• an intergenerational and sustainable development goal – to apply the principles of sustainability across all areas of development, including sustained population growth; and

• Slovenia's development goal in the international environment – to become an internationally distinctive and renowned country.

Our particular focus is on the third and fourth goals, taking into account the second, and bearing in mind that Slovenia, for us, does not merely "catch up" with the EU but play a lead "green integral" role.

Indeed Plan B for Slovenia, published by the Civil Society Initiative for Sustainable Development (13) in November 2012, received wide public support through a petition (over 10,000 signatures), considerable media attention and endorsements of nearly 200 associations, municipalities and businesses:

Slovenia has a viable opportunity to exit the crisis if we base our development on country's natural and human resources. Plan B 4.0 proposes such a development model that we call "The Green Development Breakthrough". The Green Development Breakthrough consists of seven vertical programs and five horizontal areas. The vertical programs include: sustainable mobility, energy efficiency in buildings, transition to renewable energy sources, resource efficiency and waste management, forests and wood value chain, food self-sufficiency with the emphasis on organic farming, and green tourism, while horizontal areas are green fiscal reform, innovation, education, entrepreneurship and competitiveness, spatial and housing policy, the management of protected areas and funding for environmental NGOs. The Green Development Breakthrough programs present opportunities for employment and an improved competitive position of Slovenian economy, as well as an increased life quality of people in Slovenia.

While our proposal for an "Integral Green Economy" vigorously endorsed such, we placed more explicit emphasis on both what we term a Slovenian "moral core", and its very distinct culture – as the crossroads of Europe – alongside its nature and community, its technology and society, its economics and enterprise. Moreover, we question the exclusive emphasis on a "competitive position" in Europe, and in the world, over and above a "co-operation stance", thereby picking up from where our own physical and human nature leaves off.

 
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