Learn More About Comprehensive Wealth

For many of us, comprehensive wealth is a new concept. We encourage you to read more about why this new measurement system makes sense for Canada.

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Almost Ideal Indicator Ready To Measure Sustainability

April 27th, 2016|0 Comments

Almost Ideal Indicator Ready To Measure Sustainability by Robert Smith Robert Smith is an Associate with International Institute of Sustainability Development assisting with its work in measurement and knowledge management. He is the project lead for Canada's [...]

A Proclamation: Comprehensive Wealth Comes to 1472 Olive Street

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

A Proclamation: Comprehensive Wealth Comes to 1472 Olive Street Dear Family, Today it begins. Comprehensive Wealth will now be adopted as the basis for progress measurement and resource planning for the Republic of 1472 Olive [...]

CW In The News

GDP Is A Wildly Flawed Measure For The Digital Age
by Barry Libert and Megan Beck
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), our core measure of prosperity, was developed during the industrial age. It struggles to account for today’s  intangible assets—services, insights, and networks.
by Barry Libert and Megan Beck
Harvard Business Review, July 28, 2016

What’s Missing From The SDGs?
Why inclusive wealth measures need to be included in sustainable development goals.
by Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge
www.devex.com, May 30, 2016

Pursuing Sustainability
An Interview with William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development at Harvard Kennedy School
by Amanda Pearson
Harvard Gazette, April 21, 2016

2030 Agenda and the SDGs: indicator framework, monitoring and reporting
by Barbara Adams and Karen Judd
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Tyler Prize 2016: British economist Partha Dasgupta wins top environmental award
By Karthick Arvinth
International Business Times, March 14, 2016

Never mind the flows, look at the stocks”
William Robson
The National Post, May 21, 2015

Glossary Of Terms

The notion that indicators other than GDP are required to have a complete understanding of the progress of a society.

The assets available to an individual, a corporation or a nation.

This refers to assets such as bank deposits, shares and bonds owned by an individual, a corporation or a nation. For all financial assets there is a counterpart liability on the part of another individual, corporation of nation.

The productive wealth embodied in the labour, skills and knowledge of individuals (OECD)

Assets that exist in nature, including natural resources such as forests, fish, minerals, land and ecosystems.

Produced capital refers to the nation’s infrastructure, transportation networks, factories, homes and other manufactured assets.

Networks that together share norms, values and understandings that facilitate cooperation within or among groups (OECD).

The unduplicated value of final production in an economy. Commonly referred to as GDP.

The revenue earned by an individual, a corporation or a nation in a year from the use of its capital assets in productive processes after setting aside an allowance for the replacement of any assets used up during the year.

A data element that represents statistical data for a specified time, place, and other characteristics.

A development path that ensures non–declining per capita national wealth by replacing or conserving the sources of that wealth; that is, stocks of produced, human, social and natural capital (OECD).

The sum — for the economy as a whole — of all non-financial assets, plus net financial claims on other countries. Wealth in its narrow sense includes only non-financial produced capital. Comprehensive wealth adds to this natural, human and social capital. Genuine wealth and inclusive wealth are synonyms for comprehensive wealth.

The status of an individual or collectivity relative to its social, economic and environmental aspirations.

The People Behind The Report

Robert Smith

Project Lead
IISD Senior Associate and Principal, Midsummer Analytics

Robert Smith is a well-known environmental statistician with an international reputation for conceptual and empirical work linking the environment and the economy. He is particularly known for his work to develop and promote the concept of natural capital and its use as a basis for rigorously defining and measuring sustainable development.

Rob worked for many years at Statistics Canada, helping grow its environmental accounts and statistics program from a small unit to a division of 40 people. After 10 years as the program’s director, Rob decided in 2013 to pursue a career in consulting in order to broaden his scope of influence. He is an internationally regarded expert in environmental statistics, with deep knowledge of data related to climate change, natural resources, ecosystems, wastes, environmental technologies and environmental expenditures. In addition, he has broad knowledge of economic statistics, including the national accounts.

During his two-decade career with Statistics Canada, Rob was responsible for expanding the environment accounts and statistics program in many new areas: climate change, natural resource wealth, household environmental practices, industrial water use, agricultural water use, ecological goods and services, municipal water treatment plants and others. He strongly promoted linkages between the environment and economic statistics programs. Rob managed the production of the first comprehensive study ever published by a national statistical agency on ecological goods and services.

Rob is an accomplished communicator, noted for his ability to explain complex concepts in clear, simple terms. He has authored and edited many reports, papers and opinion pieces related to, among others, natural capital, sustainable development indicators, climate change statistics and the costs of pollution.

In addition to his skills as a communicator, Rob is an experienced manager with more than 10 years experience in the executive category of the Federal Government. A respected leader, Rob works effectively at the head of teams and is able to gain the trust of employees, peers and superiors alike.

Dr. Livia Bizikova

Integrated Knowledge, IISD

Dr. Livia Bizikova is Director of the Integrated Knowledge program, with experience in the fields of sustainable development, scenario development, participatory planning and integrated assessment.

She works with diverse stakeholders: decision-makers at various levels; agencies including the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank; and countries including Canada, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Tajikistan, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Charles Thrift

Project Manager
Integrated Knowledge, IISD

Charles Thrift is a project manager for IISD’s Integrated Knowledge program.

Charles is the lead on many of IISD’s projects relating to community and sustainability indicator systems, including Peg, a community indicator system that tracks indicators that reflect and measure the community well-being in Winnipeg.

In addition, Charles has contributed to a diverse range of projects, including research related to national and international indicator systems, ecological evaluations of agricultural sectors and commodity chains, and research related to energy and life-cycle analysis. His interests include open data and data visualization, indicators for community sustainability and well-being, and the role of knowledge in governance and decision making.

Kieran McDougal

Integrated Knowledge, IISD

Kieran McDougal is an Associate in IISD’s Knowledge for Integrated Decisions group. Kieran has a background in global political economy, public policy, environmental policy and governance and ecological economics. In his work at the Centre for Governance Innovation, Kieran researched Canada-United States cross-border renewable energy governance. In addition, Kieran worked in Botswana on the Maun Riverfront Development Project, where he engaged community stakeholders to develop the Maun Museum into a cultural hub.

It’s time to measure what matters —
Comprehensive wealth
for a sustainable and prosperous Canada.