Éloi Laurent

 

On his book Measuring Tomorrow: Accounting for Well-Being, Resilience, and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century

Cover Interview of January 29, 2018

Lastly

I hope this book becomes an accelerator of the well-being and sustainability transition already under way. This transition received international recognition in September 2015, when the United Nations embraced a “sustainable development goals” agenda in which GDP growth plays only a marginal role. In the U.S., scores of scholars and (some) policy makers increasingly realize the importance of paying attention to inequality rather than just growth. China’s leaders acknowledge that sustainability is a much better policy target than explosive economic expansion. Pope Francis is also a force of change when he writes in the encyclical Laudato si, published in June 2015, “[w]e are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental,” and urges us to abandon growth as a collective horizon. Influential newspapers and magazines such as The Economist and The New York Times recently ran articles arguing that GDP should be dropped or at least complemented. Local transitions are happening all over the planet, from Copenhagen to Baltimore, Chinese provinces to Indian states. But we need to change our behaviors and attitudes faster, because the great race of the 21st century between human intelligence and human greed is currently being lost. Measuring well-being, resilience, and sustainability has the power to change the way we see the world, what we do in it, and what we do to it.