20 Oct '11, 10pm

President of Iceland: Our Clean Energy Economy Helped Us Survive a Financial Crisis

Grimmson gave an engrossing account of what has transpired in the years since Iceland's economy tanked in 2008. Iceland took a series of dramatic steps to head off the crisis -- most notably, by nationalizing its failing banks to prevent a total economic downward spiral. The ensuing recession nonetheless saw the nation shed jobs and enter tough times; tough times that persist today. Pretty familiar sounding narrative, no? Another notable feature of Iceland's tale that should resonate today is the series of unrelenting protests that guided policymakers through the decision-making process -- every day, swarms of Icelandic youth and the afflicted middle class protested outside the capital building. Grimsson notes that it eventually turned into a full-time "assembly". These protesters pushed leaders to democratize the reform process, and to penalize the banks who made bad deci...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/10/president_of_icel...

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