Rethinking What Counts. Perspectives on Wellbeing and Genuine Progress Indicator Metrics from a Canadian Viewpoint

A prevailing undercurrent of doubt regarding the merits of economic growth has motivated efforts to rethink how we measure the success of economic policy and societal wellbeing. This article comments on efforts to better account for impacts of economic activity emphasizing genuine progress indicator (GPI) and wellbeing metrics from a Canadian viewpoint. The authors caution that GPI and related metrics are measures of human and social welfare and not adequate to account for the ecological costs associated with economic growth. In addition, the article discusses the suitability of wellbeing models and metrics for local scale applications, recognizing growing interest in these techniques at the urban and local level. The article concludes with a reflection on the uptake of GPI and wellbeing measures highlighting the Canadian experience.

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Jeffrey Wilson