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Moving Beyond GDP: The Case for Wealth as a Core Measure of National Progress

13 June 2022 | Online


With growing calls to move beyond GDP as a measure of national progress, the International Institute for Sustainable Development convened a seminar to explore the adoption of an inclusive wealth index.

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Fostering fair and sustainable economies is one of the strategic priorities of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The seminar explored the adoption of ‘inclusive wealth’ as a means of moving beyond GDP as a measurement of progress.

While agreement is growing that countries must move beyond GDP and adopt new measures of progress, just what those measures should be remains a matter of debate. Among the handful of credible alternatives to GDP is inclusive wealth—a powerful measure of sustainability. Inclusive wealth comprises the assets that underlie human well-being: natural, human, social, produced, and financial capital. Despite this, no government today measures inclusive wealth.

This session was moderated by Pedro Conceição, Director, Human Development Report Office, UN Development Programme. He was joined by:

  • Lynn Wagner, Senior Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD);
  • Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge;
  • Bambang Brodjonegoro, Lead Co-Chair, T20 Indonesia, and Professor, Universitas Indonesia; and
  • Pushpam Kumar, Chief Environmental Economist and Senior Economic Advisor, UN Environment Programme.

Speakers described what inclusive wealth was, how it relates to the sustainability of well-being and how government policies would differ if inclusive wealth, rather than GDP, occupied the “center of decision makers’ dashboards.” 

The event took place in a virtual format on Monday, 13 June, at 8:00 am EST.

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