Posts

“Creating a More Egalitarian Society”: introduction to the LEDDA partnership

“Creating a More Egalitarian Society”, by John Boik:  an introduction to the LEDDA framework and the LEDDA Partnership.

Houston, 7.12.14

World needs a new Bretton Woods with Africa in the lead – Business Day 27.11.2014

This week on Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper, GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti reflects on the need to redefine the economic system and the very definition of economic progress.

“After the 2007-08 global economic collapse, we have not yet seen one major reform. Both bail-outs and quantitative easing (a cryptic term to hide the fact that governments have resorted to the old-fashioned, Zimbabwe-esque remedy of printing money out of thin air) have done exactly the opposite: they have condoned business-as-usual practices, providing an incentive for the financial sector to continue speculating.”

Our leaders make public appeals for more growth, but fail to specify what “type” of growth they want. While in the postwar period the world could have been satisfied with economic growth at all costs — most countries had been destroyed by the conflict and the future was simply about rebuilding — the new century has brought some critical reality checks. The planet is in pain, unbridled economic growth has increased inequalities in many countries and environmental damage has become a concern not only for tree-huggers, but for anybody interested in social and economic stability.

Read the full article on Business Day. 

Beyond-GDP in Africa: Innovative Ideas for a Regional Dashboard

On October 28-29 2014, GovInn, in partnership with the Sustainability Institute,  hosted a workshop that brought together academics and practitioners from statistical offices from Sub-Saharan Africa to identify practical solutions to measure well being and prosperity and move beyond numerical indicators such as GDP.

The title of the workshop was ‘Beyond-GDP in Africa: Innovative Ideas for a Regional Dashboard.’ Its goal was to take stock of the various criticisms raised against the gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure of economic progress and to propose a way forward for African countries.

After two days of presentations and deliberations, the participants compiled a list of recommendations with a view to identifying a practical roadmap for the translation of the ‘beyond GDP’ debate into policy reforms throughout Africa.

Click here to download the presentations at the workshop

Click here to download the workshop official statement

Learn about Beyond GDP in Africa research project and about GovInn research on New Economy

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his new book in Heidelberg, Germany

Numbers dominate global politics and, as a result, our everyday lives. Credit ratings steer financial markets and can make or break the future of entire nations. GDP drives our economies. Stock market indices flood our media and national debates. Statistical calculations define how we deal with climate change, poverty and sustainability. But what is behind these numbers?
GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti presented his new book at the German American Institute in Heidelberg, Germany on 14 October 2014.

In How Numbers Rule the World, Lorenzo Fioramonti reveals the hidden agendas underpinning the use of statistics and those who control them. Most worryingly, he shows how numbers have been used as a means to reinforce the grip of markets on our social and political life, curtailing public participation and rational debate.Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

How Moving Beyond GDP may Help Fight Poverty in Africa

In this policy brief for CROP (Comparative Research Programme on Poverty) GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti explains how alternative indicators are likely to highlight the important contribution of social cohesion and natural welfare to economic development, thus helping to eradicate poverty in the continent.

Click here to read the CROP Poverty Briefs in full

Business by numbers can dull creativity of workforce -BusinessDay-

Fioramonti’s article this week focuses on the dangers on relying on simplified figures such as GDP to assess the development and the wealth of a country and make business decisions.

“When businesses base investment decisions on indicators such as the gross domestic product (GDP) they miss the forest for the trees. GDP is a very myopic measure of economic performance, which counts profits but excludes costs. Moreover, it flattens society and the market, thus giving the impression that growth affects all businesses (and people) in the same manner. In fact, there can be good and bad, equal and unequal, sustainable and unsustainable GDP growth.

“The “Africa rising” debate animating the investment community these days is a case in point, insofar as it does not pay attention to issues of sustainability and distribution, which are likely to hamper the performance of these “rising” economies. “

“Even good numbers can be misleading: indeed, numbers, by design, (over)simplify reality. In a numbers-driven world, only what can be measured counts. A metric-dependent business is more likely to forfeit long-term goals, which are harder to quantify, for short-term returns.”

Read it all on BusinessDay

Lorenzo Fioramonti at the Free University in Berlin

“How numbers rule the world” at Free University, Berlin

On 4 September 2014 GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti presented his latest book “How numbers rule the world” at the Free University in Berlin. The lecture was organised by The Berlin Forum On Global Politics

How Numbers Rule the World: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in Global Politics

Cover_Page_How_Numbers_Rule_the_World
(Zed Books, 2014)

Author: Lorenzo Fioramonti

Numbers dominate global politics and, as a result, our everyday lives. Credit ratings steer financial markets and can make or break the future of entire nations. GDP drives our economies. Stock market indices flood our media and national debates. Statistical calculations define how we deal with climate change, poverty and sustainability. But what is behind these numbers?

In How Numbers Rule the World, Lorenzo Fioramonti reveals the hidden agendas underpinning the use of statistics and those who control them. Most worryingly, he shows how numbers have been used as a means to reinforce the grip of markets on our social and political life, curtailing public participation and rational debate.

An innovative and timely exposé of the politics, power and contestation of numbers. For more info see: https://www.zedbooks.net/shop/book/how-numbers-rule-the-world/

New Economic Governance

Change

The convergence of crises, from climate change to the Great Recession and rampant social and economic inequality, fundamentally questions our main economic paradigm based on growth in the gross domestic product (GDP).

In order to tackle the current systemic crisis, we may indeed need to think creatively about the type of development we want to achieve in the 21st century.

GDP is arguably the most well-known statistic in the contemporary world, and certainly amongst the most powerful.

It drives government policy and sets priorities in a variety of vital social fields – from schooling to healthcare.

Yet for perhaps the first time since it was invented in the 1930s, this popular icon of economic growth has come to be regarded by many as a ‘problem’.

After all, does our quality of life really improve when our economy grows 2 or 3{bd2963b2c680ed8e9e94cc84d503442bf9bc59ccc6a1c4848a11c7bd683cc743}? Can we continue to sacrifice the environment to safeguard a vision of the world based on the illusion of infinite economic growth?

This research area includes our work in the field of ‘Beyond GDP’ governance as well as a series of pioneering projects in the field of wellbeing, community development, new business models and alternative currency systems.

 

Currently running projects:

Widget not in any sidebars

VIDEO: The Dark Side of GDP and Why It Matters for Africa’s Future

Lorenzo Fioramonti gave the inaugural address for the Expert Lecture Series 2013 at the University of Pretoria on 14 March. The title of the talk is “The Dark Side of GDP and Why It Matters for Africa’s Future”. For more info, visit NEW ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE, one of the pillars of GovInn work on Governance Innovation.