Around the world we are witnessing important shifts in our definition of “progress” and “development”. Since WWII, governments have largely relied on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to assess their national progress. However, GDP only tells us how much is bought and sold in an economy and nothing about our quality of life and the state of the environment.
Published by WWF, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll), and the European Environmental Bureau, this short briefing is a primer for policy-makers interested in how and why to move Beyond GDP. It summarises the debate around Beyond GDP and introduces the most relevant alternative indicators and dashboards currently in use around the world. It aims to simplify the seemingly complex Beyond GDP landscape by explaining the shared principles of these indicators and dashboards, and argues that the time has come to embed alternative measures and methods for collective progress within institutions at all levels. The briefing concludes that the Beyond GDP agenda requires a significant acceleration by policy-makers on three goals: convergence of measurement, more policy tools/uptake and participatory policy approaches.