‘New Economics and Happiness/Well-being’ events: August-October 2012 Reply

Here, we list some of the major upcoming events in the areas of ‘New Economics’ and/or ‘Happiness/Well-being’ to be held in the next three months.  As you will see, there are a number of interesting gatherings coming up this late summer/autumn.

August 2012

“Happiness, Compassion and Sustainability – A Strategic Gathering,” 24-25 August 2012, Seatle, US; at this conference, participants will learn about the vital new worldwide movement for happiness, find out about how to use the Happiness Initiative to improve your community, learn about the connection between happiness and sustainability, help plan “Pursuit of Happiness Day” (April 13) for 2013, and hear prominent authors; event sponsored by The Happiness Initiative, Take Back Your Time, The Compassionate Action Network and the Communications Department of Seattle University. http://www.happycounts.org/conf2012

September 2012

Second Global Happiness and Well-being Movement webinar, 21 September 2012; speaker: Jon Hall, of the United Nations Millenium Development Goals, http://www.happycounts.org/global-happiness-and-wellbeing-movement

3rd International Conference on Degrowth, 19-23 Sept 2012, Venice, Italy; The general theme of the conference Venezia 2012 on Degrowth and ecological sustainability and social justice is “The big transition: Degrowth as a passage of civilization,” http://www.venezia2012.it/?lang=en

October 2012

3rd Global Green Growth Forum – Copenhagen, 8-9 October 2012, theme “Resource Efficiency and Growth,” http://www.globalgreengrowthforum.com/news/3gf-in-the-media

2nd International Growth in Transition conference “How should we grow?” – Vienna, 8-10 October 2012, http://www.growthintransition.eu/conference2012

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Inclusive Wealth Report 2012: UN’s new approach to measuring the sustainability of countries Reply

The United Nations University International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (UNU-IHDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the UN Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the Natural Capital Project have released a new report, titled “Inclusive Wealth Report 2012” (IWR 2012) at the Rio+20 conference.

The report is first in a series of biennial reports aiming to track the sustainability of countries using a newly developed measure, the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI). The IWI aims to go beyond the present generation of short-term economic and development measures, such as the gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI). The IWI has been developed to capture the full wealth of nations by looking into country’s capital assets, including manufactured, human and natural capital, and its corresponding values.

In the Inclusive Wealth Report 2012, twenty countries were assessed using the IWI over a period of 19 years (1990-2008). Together they represent more than half of the world population and almost three quarters of world GDP and include high, middle, and low-income economies on all continents.

Some of the key findings of the IWR 2012 included:

  • 70 percent of countries assessed  present a positive Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) per capita growth, indicating sustainability.
  • High population growth with respect to IWI growth rates caused 25 percent of countries assessed to become unsustainable.
  • While 19 out of the 20 countries experienced a decline in natural capital, six of them also saw a decline in their inclusive wealth, thus following an unsustainable track.
  • Human capital has increased in every country, being the prime capital form that offsets the decline in natural capital in most economies.
  • 25 percent of assessed countries, which showed a positive trend when measured by GDP per capita and the HDI, were found to have a negative IWI.
  • The primary driver of the difference in performance was the decline in natural capital.

Based on these key findings, the report offers a set of recommendations to national-level policy-makers. It calls on countries to:

  • Build up their investments in renewable natural capital
  • Mainstream the Inclusive Wealth Index within planning and developing ministries
  • Support/speed up the process of moving from an income-based accounting framework to a wealth accounting framework
  • Move away from GDP per capita
  • Establish research programs for valuing key components of natural capital, particularly ecosystem services.

The next issue of the Inclusive Wealth Report is expected to be released in 2014 with a special focus on social capital.

Link: UNU-IHDP Inclusive Wealth Report news