A call for public participation and measures of resilience
För att få ytterligare ett perspektiv på framtidsseminariumet ”Bortom BNP″ bad Framtidskommissionens kansli en av de anmälda deltagarna att ta med sig penna och block och skriva ner sina tankar från seminariet. Denna gång blev det Julien Morel som är KTH-student, specialiserad på energi och miljö.
Comments on the seminar “Beyond GDP” held on June 14th
The lesser that can be said about the conference that was held on “Beyond GDP” on June 14th is that it posed more questions than answers. However, as Marco Mira d’Ercole explains it, this shouldn’t be a call for inaction. At the contrary, asking the right questions is the most importation step in order to set a framework to monitor “what is worth” and to end up, in the medium term, with the right answers.
As a methodological remark, I have been always surprised to realize that this debate on indicators has so far always been in the hands on statisticians, economists and policy-makers: the civil society is almost always let apart. In particular, the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi commission, held in France to set recommendations on these issues, was held by a group of high-level experts, and among them five “Nobel Prizes in economics”. I think that these indicators rely on values that should be discussed and constructed with a far broader range of stakeholders. This consideration is critical because it will set a democratic legitimacy to these indicators and will reflect more accurately the question that is raised: to measure “what is worth” for people. Sweden has a long experience in public participation, and could take this message up to international debates.
I would like to emphasize a second call: a call for “resilient people, resilient planet”, as the zeroth draft to Rio+20 explains it. This imply to measure not only the current state of “what is worth”, but also to foresee the path and the consequences of our actions. This also implies that a measure of “Green GDP” cannot be compliant with a measure of resilience, as it turns sustainability into a weak form. I think that the Commission on the Future carries such long-term views, in particular by raising the need to question GDP growth. Actions are now needed to move forward.
At last, to me, four different topics have been tackled this day: measures of well-being (“wealth”), sustainable economic models, alternatives to the objective of growth and measures of physical sustainability. Each of these issues have to be tackled specifically, but I think that we have reached a time where the two considerations explained above should be raised strongly at first prior to any decision. In particular, it could be good if the future international “task-force” on alternative indicators, that is to be set at Rio+20, could take into account those two considerations.
Skrivet av: Julien Morel