Back in America

Navi Radjou: Is Frugal Economy a Viable Alternative to Capitalism and Could it Save our Planet?

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Episode notes

In this episode, Back in America’s host, Stan Berteloot speaks with Navi Radjou, internationally renowned Indian-French-American scholar, innovation and leadership advisor, and bestselling author based in New York. Navi’s most recent book, Frugal Innovation: How To Do More With Less, shows how companies can innovate faster, better, and more sustainably. 

The conversation focuses on Navi’s work on developing an alternative to capitalism and concrete actions individuals and businesses are taking to build a better, more sustainable world.

“My job is to introduce Americans to new ways of doing business, new ways of creating economic and social value in a sustainable way,” says Radjou. 

He describes the “frugal economy” as a new economy that is built on business-to-business (b2b) sharing, local production from micro-factories, the notion of regeneration, or how companies can consciously have a positive impact on society and the planet.

Since Navi is multicultural, the episode focuses on the values, culture, and identity of America. Navi comments on an excerpt from a previous Back in America interview with American writer and thinker John Michael Greer. 

In the audio clip, we hear Greer say that America is all about independence and every man for himself, while European countries have a more communal attitude.

In response, Navi asked: “Why do we have to choose? Why can we have both? Why can we go into a kind of the third dimension where we try to integrate the goodness of America, the goodness of Europe? The ideal society,” he says, “is the one that tried to find the sweet spot between maximizing individual expression while contributing to social integration.”

Navi backs up his theories with concrete examples of companies, such as Xometry, People + Work Connect from Accenture, Unilever, Civica RX, or Convoy that are currently working according to the frugal economy precept.

Here are two of Radjou’s articles on Frugal Economy and B2B Sharing :

The Rising Frugal Economy

The sharing economy’s next target: Business-to-business

Navi Radjou’s Movie and Books Selection

The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium Paperback 

by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

The Life Divine Paperback 

by Sri Aurobindo


Losers on Netflix 


Watch the full, unedited, interview on YouTube