Dimitri’s talk will be on The wealth economy: measuring natural and social capital


Prosperity depends on access to the range of assets people need to fulfil their economic potential and lead a meaningful life. It is becoming increasingly apparent that established macroeconomic statistics provide only a partial view of modern economies. GDP measures flows of income, output and expenditure. It says nothing about the stocks that determine our capacity to generate such flows in the future. Any study of sustainability must identify the critical assets that generate a stream of benefits and which need to be stewarded for future generations. The wealth-based approach to sustainability focuses on the underlying capital stocks. These include not just tangible man-made assets, like physical and human capital, but also intangible assets like knowledge and social capital and also natural capital. These assets determine our capacity to generate future prosperity, provide a deeper understanding of economic progress while improving economic resilience by containing risk. The wealth economy project on measuring and valuing social and natural capital  at the University of Cambridge is part of a broader effort to better measure all assets as part of the comprehensive wealth story. Delivering sustainability requires improved measurement and understanding of ‘the economy’ that emphasises the changing dynamics of wealth.

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