Tuesday, September 22, 2009

News on rethinking how we assess and measure progress

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These two pieces of news, on rethinking GDP (which happens to be the topic I completed my MSc dissertation on in 1998/9) and establishing new eco footprint standards, from the Global Footprint Network could turn out to be very important for our future:

Sarkozy Urges GDP Rethink

Global Footprint Network Comments on Stiglitz Report

During the year and a half since French President Nicolas Sarkozy established the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, it has focused on one challenge: How can we move beyond GDP to broader measures of a nation’s economic, social and environmental well-being?

Global Footprint Network applauds this effort and congratulates the Commission for taking a crucial step toward answering that question through its release of the Stiglitz Report. The report synthesizes the complex field of economic performance and social progress indicators and substantiates the voices of early pioneers like Hazel Henderson and Hermann Daly.
With this report, there is now wide agreement that humanity’s success in the 21st century depends largely on robust navigational tools. The report has built a productive platform for further discussions. However, there is still much work to do. The report points out that there is no consensus yet as to which indicators provide the greatest value, and how they should be applied in guiding public policy.
More >


New Footprint Standards Released

Global Footprint Network is pleased to announce the release of the Ecological Footprint Standards 2009. This document builds on the first set of internationally recognized Ecological Footprint Standards, released in 2006, and includes key updates – such as, for the first time, providing guidelines and standards for product and organizational Footprint assessments.