The coming years are likely to be turbulent due to a myriad of factors, including an escalation in climate extremes, emerging public health threats, weak productivity, increases in global economic instability, and further weakening in the integrity of global democracy. These formidable challenges are not exogenous to the economy which knock it off track but are in some cases generated by the system itself. They can be overcome, but only with far-reaching changes to global economics. Our current socio-economic paradigm is insufficient for addressing these complex challenges, let alone sustaining human development, well-being and happiness. To support the flourishing of the global population in the age of polycrisis, we need a novel, person-centered and collective paradigm - a brain economy. In this paper, we outline the key reasons why. The brain economy leverages insights from neuroscience to provide a novel way of centralizing the human contribution to the economy, how the economy in turn shapes our lives and positive feedbacks between the two.

The brain economy is primarily based on Brain Capital, an economic asset integrating brain health and brain skills, the social, emotional, and the diversity of cognitive brain resources of individuals and communities. People with healthy brains are essential to navigate increasingly complex systems. Policies and investments that improve brain health and hence citizens’ cognitive functions and boost brain performance can increase productivity, stimulate greater creativity and economic dynamism, utilize often underdeveloped intellectual resources, afford social cohesion, and create a more resilient, adaptable and sustainability-engaged population.

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Authors: Harris A. Eyre MBBS PhD, William Hynes DPhil, Rym Ayadi PhD,, Pawel Swieboda1, Michael Berk MD PhD, Agustin Ibanez PhD, Maríta E. Castelló PhD, Dilip V. Jeste MD, Michelle Tempest MD, Jafri Main Bin Abdullah MD PhD, Kelly O’Brien, Steve Carnevale, Alfred K. Njamnshi MD, Michael Martino MS, Dan Mannix, Katrina Maestri, Ruojuan Yu, Shuo Chen JD, Chee H. Ng MD, Heinrich C. Volmink MBChB, Rajiv Ahuja JD, Frederic Destrebecq, George Vradenburg, Astrid Schmied PhD, Facundo Manes MD, Michael L. Platt PhD