Our current economic systems have become addicted to “growth at all costs”, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [i]. They assume that GDP growth is synonymous with increasing wellbeing and prosperity. However this approach has led to growing inequality, an escalating climate crisis, and the depletion of natural and social capital. We are no longer generating genuine progress[ii]. Our approach to economics and development needs fundamental transformation.
A global movement is coalescing among a large number of individuals and organizations around the need to shift economies away from a narrow focus on marketed goods and services (i.e. GDP) to one more broadly focused on ‘sustainable wellbeing’. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a step in this direction, encompassing a broad set of 17 goals that go far beyond GDP growth, and include eliminating hunger and poverty, reducing gender and overall inequality, urgent action on climate change, and restoring marine and terrestrial ecosystems.