What is your definition of a sustainable economy?
In my opinion, a sustainable economy embraces the Maslow Hierachy of Basic Needs, Psychological Needs and Self Fulfillment Needs for each of the participants. Along with providing those needs, the economy must also be supported by each participant at the level the are able to contribute. It must be on a modest growth curve, with a focus on making things (manufacturing) that contribute to that growth and the improvement of the global community. To be truly sustainable, the economy must be as GREEN as possible accepting all the while that humans will leave a mark.
What is the most important human need that the economy should account for?
I believe that Self Actualization is most important. If each participant is provided a pathway to reach their own (realistic) aspirations, they are more likely to be willing to support others in reaching theirs. I will use the term „Trickle down“ to help explain this idea. While not popular in the financial aspects of economy, I believe it is demonstrated by the altruistic behavior of those who have been successful in many of the economies in the world.
In your opinion, do positive examples already exist?
I don’t believe that any one economy has been able to crack the code 100%. If you look around the world, there are examples of where bits and pieces attack the challenge of creating economic sustainability. Most examples are found in countries with smaller populations, which have a close knit community mentality. I must say most often slightly socialistic, yet capitalistic as well, with a focus on an environment that creates wealth for all. Wealth being defined individually.