Green Economics: A Training Intensive for Non-Economists


Position yourself and your organization to be an agent of change.
Join other professionals and lifelong learners in this small-scale interactive course.
Learn about 5Rs for re-orienting the economy for a greener 21st Century.

This is a two-day course that combines lectures, group-work, and reflective exercises. By the end of the course, you will have a better understanding of economic concepts and information relevant to a green economy. You will learn about ways to:

  • retrofit markets and environmental policies – by reducing the depletion of common-pool resources and rewarding the supply of public goods;
  • rethink valuation of environmental benefits and damages – by better understanding scarcities, values, and the consideration of ecosystem services;
  • reward pro-environmental behaviour – by affecting prices, quantities, and behavioural norms that reflect the pro-social orientation of humans;
  • reconcile trade-offs to inform public decisions – by choosing appropriate decision-support frameworks and discounting approaches;
  • redefine economic progress and sustainability – by recognizing what is included, and omitted, by old and new measures of economic performance.

You will start by identifying your vision of a green economy. You will identify obstacles to overcome. And you will identify successes to build upon. Your perspectives will be integrated with those from other learners. All will be related to important content and considerations that are relevant to re-orienting the economy for a greener 21st Century.

This course is adapted from a longer training program, Eric Miller and Paul Bubeliswhich has successfully trained professionals in the fields of biological conservation, public policy, urban planning, sustainable finance, and environmental management. No prior knowledge or experience in economics is necessary.

The curriculum is grounded in ecological economics. This form of economics focuses on issues of sustainability and efficiency and distribution. Ecological economists recognize that the economy relies upon materials and energy and services from nature.

Eric Miller developed the course and will be the instructor. Eric is a Hamilton-based consulting economist and contract faculty at York University in Toronto. He has taught hundreds of university students and has presented at dozens of public forums. He is experienced as a provincial and federal public servant.

Green Economics: A Training Intensive for Non-Economists will be delivered three times between early 2018 and mid 2019. The first offering took place in Halifax on January 11 and 12, 2018, in association with the Ecology Action Centre and the HRM Alliance. A session is scheduled for Calgary on September 20-21, 2018 as well as one in Vancouver in early 2019.

This training is organized by the Sustainability Network and supported by a grant from the Peter Gilgan Foundation. We want to also recognize the Ivey Foundation who are supporting a broader Economic Literacy Project. We also want to acknowledge the assistance of our local partner the Ecology Action Centre.

Green Economics: A Training Intensive for Non-Economists – Halifax

When: January 11 and 12, 10 AM to 5 PM (both days)
Where: Discovery Centre, Halifax

Workshop Participants:

Aaron Ward, Ecojustice
Adam Cheeseman, Nature New Brunswick
Jonathan Kummer, Nature Trust of New Brunswick
Jacqueline Pepper, Halifax Transit
Brent Connolly, Halifax Transit
Gina Patterson, Clean Foundation
Joanne Light, Nova Scotia Environmental Network
David Henry, Nova Scotia Environmental Network
Paul Sherwood, The Diocesan Times
Ariel Smith, Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation
John Gunn, Clean Foundation
Chelsea Hanoun, College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University
Brenda Kelley, Sustainable Development
Matthew Jarsky, Jarsky Studio
Mark Butler, Ecology Action Centre
Jenny Lugar, Ecology Action Centre
Maggie Burns, Wayside Initiative
Alex Marshall, St Francis Xavier University
William Marshall, St Francis Xavier University
Ben Wedge, Ecology Action Centre
Amy Brierley, Martha Justice Ministry – Sisters of St. Martha
Serhat Bayrak, Seniors Association of Nova Scotia
Mary-Dan Johnston, NDP Caucus Office
Brendan Haley, Banting Postdoc Fellow, School for Resource and Environmental Studies