5.1. New growth concept
Many economists agree that if we are going to boost growth, consumers must have their wallet out of their pockets. In The Alternative, we will calculate growth in a new and more nuanced way.
Growth must be about our ability to develop society for the better. Therefore, growth must be about better human well-being and happiness, and more environmental and economic sustainability.
So far, society’s economic progress has been calculated on the basis of economic growth through increased production. This has been measured by increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Alternative wants to break with this approach.
Production should not be at the center of our vision for society. Rather, it is the way that we produce and create growth that is the most important. We must find meaning in what we do and measure that which gives us meaning.
The Alternative does not consider GDP as a good measure of success. We believe that GDP measurements alone do not provide a true picture of society’s real condition. What we need to know is whether we as citizens thrive, whether we take good enough care of nature and the environment, and whether our economy creates equality and ensures that money is invested in the right, sustainable initiatives.
The Alternative will therefore introduce a new concept of growth with new goals for sustainable prosperity.
A growth concept that measures well-being and happiness as well as the degree of environmental and economic sustainability
The Alternative wants to set up a commission to examine how a new concept of growth can be put together in such a way as to support a serious sustainable transition. This requires a change so that growth is not measured solely on the basis of economics, but also on social and environmental conditions.
We can measure, among other things, well-being and happiness, but also on the basis of other important parameters, such as high employment, equality, increasing leisure time, community spirit, fulfillment of basic needs, and participation in democracy. These are all elements that contribute to social justice and a meaningful life.
The new concept of growth should also measure, as already mentioned, the degree of environmental sustainability in society. This can be done using existing methods such as the “ecological footprint”, for example – a measurement method that calculates how much of the Earth’s resources a person in a given country consumes.