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Beyond GDP: International Experiences, Canada's Options

A decade has passed since the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress called on world governments to find better ways to measure wellbeing and sustainability. In recent years, "beyond-GDP" measurement initiatives have proliferated internationally. Canadians have made key contributions to measuring wellbeing and understanding what drives it, and many non-governmental indicator initiatives have emerged. Given the continued need for better prosperity measurements, and the growing knowledge base from recent initiatives, we believe it is timely to host an event to exchange and share that knowledge, and discuss the next steps forward.

At the workshop, we aim to advance academic, public, and policy debate on wellbeing measurement in Canada by bringing together Canadian and international academics, policy-makers and government officials, non-governmental organizations, and the public.

Key questions to be addressed at the workshop include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • What have been the policy and other impacts of key beyond-GDP measurement initiatives so far?

  • What lessons can be drawn from these cases about the possibilities and obstacles to using alternative prosperity measurements?

  • What are the most promising policy applications of beyond-GDP measurement?

  • What key barriers to introducing beyond-GDP metrics exist in Canada?

  • Should the Government of Canada (and/or provincial governments) create an official beyond-GDP indicator or indicator dashboard? If so, which approach to wellbeing measurement should guide construction of those indicators?

  • What complementary measures and related policy tools can help ensure that new measurements are not merely calculated and published, but taken into account in policymaking?

  • What are the key next steps for beyond-GDP measurement (whether in Canada, other nations, or internationally)?


May 23, 2019 at 09:00 - May 24, 2019 at 15:00

Event sponsors:

The event is being organized by the Centre for the Study of Security and Development and the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie University, in collaboration with Engage Nova Scotia. The workshop is co-sponsored by Green Analytics, the Canadian International Council, and the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative.