GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the best-recognised measure of economic performance in the world, often used as a generic indicator of progress. However, the relationship between economic growth as measured by GDP and other dimensions of societal progress is not straightforward. Effectively measuring progress, wealth and well-being requires indices that are as clear and appealing as GDP, but more inclusive than GDP—ones that incorporate social and environmental issues. This is especially important given global challenges such as climate change, global poverty, pressure on resources and their potential impact on societies.
The Beyond GDP Conference floor.
The European Commission, European Parliament, Club of Rome, OECD and WWF hosted this high-level conference in 2007 with the objectives of clarifying which indices are most appropriate to measure progress, and how these can best be integrated into the decision-making process and taken up by public debate. The conference brought together high-level experts and policy makers to address these critical issues. Over 650 people from economic, social and environmental spheres attended.
Preceding the main political conference, an expert workshop was held, where leading practitioners considered progress in the development and policy application of indicators of progress, true wealth, and well-being.
Materials and presentations from the conference are available for download from this website (see box to the right).