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Reissue of 1991 book on economic growth indicators ‘depressing’, says author

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An academic who in 1991 published a book outlining the need for alternative measures of economic success or failure has described its recent reissue as “depressing”, adding that it proves just how little progress has been made.

Victor Anderson, who is visiting professor at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute, said that gross domestic product (GDP) – how economies are currently measured – gives a misleading picture and does not take account environmental or social circumstances.

His book, Alternative Economic Indicators, has been republished by Routledge 22 years after it was initially launched. While he admitted it is flattering, Anderson added that it was “depressing” that so little ground had been covered in over two decades.

“The continued relevance of the book is an indication of what a short distance the world has come on the topics I wrote about”, he told Blue & Green Tomorrow.

The book is basically a critique of the dominance of gross domestic product in economics, and a search for alternative ways to measure the success of economies.”

He added, “George Osborne thinks the economy is getting better because the figures suggest a 0.8% increase in GDP year on year – but public opinion polls show a different story.

“In some limited respects, GDP is a useful statistic. However, what it is not useful for is measuring the success of an economy, as its growth is perfectly compatible with both environmental disaster and deterioration in living standards and living conditions.”

He added that GDP “looks away from society and the environment”.

Anderson’s comments come a week after the chancellor’s autumn statement, in which Osborne said the economy was getting better. These claims have been questioned by charities and campaign groups, who claim that social conditions are worsening, with more and more being pushed into fuel and food poverty.

Further reading:

UK second worst for fuel poverty in EU – as groups warn over coming ‘crisis’

Poorest facing ‘toughest ever winter’, says food poverty charity

Feeding the world sustainably means investing in better solutions

Climate change threatens 31% of global economic output

Sustainability: a real growth opportunity for investors

Books & Films

Book Review: Ubernomics

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ubernomics

Step inside the next generation of economics, business strategy and investing.

In this radical business book, Barbara Gray makes it clear that all is not as it seems. Just when we think we know the rules of the road, we find we have hit the age of economic abundance—and surprises await.

Gray navigates us through this journey with great insight and acuity, sharing stories and case studies about a new breed of “rebel with a cause” companies such as Starbucks, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Uber, whose founders relish disruption of the status quo. Taking us through the highlights of her research, Gray reveals her discovery of the next generation of business strategy for companies looking to create economic abundance and rise above the competition.

Barbara Gray is a former top-ranked sell-side equity analyst and the founder of Brady Capital Research Inc., a leading-edge research and strategy consulting firm. She has more than fifteen years of sell-side equity research experience in Canada and the United States covering a wide range of sectors. Barbara has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of British Columbia (1993) and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1997. She lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two sons.

Reviews

Ubernomics is über-needed by any organization that wants to be around in the next five years. Read it and you’ll be here for fifty–and more! Barbara Gray is half brilliant analyst and half seer. The result is a book that is both crystal clear and a crystal ball.”
–Joey Reiman, Chairman, BrightHouse and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

“Barbara is one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts who covered lululemon. Ubernomics gave me a framework to think about the sharing economy capital structure and the value that can be gained from that.”
–Christine Day, CEO, Luvo (former CEO, lululemon)

“Barbara’s overall analysis centering on the three new values of advocacy, connection and collaboration is very powerful. And the examples, both of firms born in the new economy and others trying to adapt to it, are fascinating.”
–Jean-Claude Larreche, Professor of Marketing, INSEAD, and author of The Momentum Effect

 

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Books & Films

Book Review: Business as an Instrument for Societal Change

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business-instrument-societal-change

Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over all these years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership – one fit to repurpose the business world and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs.

The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom – combined with key insights from business and public leaders – creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practitioners and general readers alike.

Tideman unites the scientific worldviews of physics, neuroscience and economics with the positive psychology of human relationships, and ancient spiritual wisdom, to formulate practical business leadership solutions. At the heart of this book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose. This ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society, which Tideman terms ‘triple value’.  We can achieve triple value by aligning societal and business needs, based on the fundamental reality of interconnection.

Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is a readable and intelligent exploration of how leaders can actually help to shape a sustainable global economy by embracing innate human and humane behaviour. It is also Tideman’s fascinating personal journey, which brought him to question the underlying motivations and goals of business leadership and to seek a new paradigm for a more sustainable approach. Reflecting Tideman’s sharp perceptions and infused with the Dalai Lama’s unmistakable joy, this book has the power to change your way of thinking.

 

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