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The trajectory of progress must change

  • Published
    3rd Aug, 2023

Context:

Global governance is in bad shape. The G­20 is at an impasse as the U.S. wants its members to shut out Russia and China who it sees as threats to its global hegemony while India wants the G­20 to concentrate on the agenda of 90% of humanity outside the G­7.

Governance is facing trouble

  • World divided by wars- The world is being divided by wars amongst nations, and strife within them — wars with military weapons and with financial and trade weapons.
  • Realities not reflected in numbers- People's experiences are not reflected in the statisticians’ numbers of poverty.
  • Economic growth is not sustainable- The planet is heating up inexorably. It cannot take the pressure of the present consumptive model of economic growth any longer.

Report ‘Pixels of Progress’ by: The McKinsey Global Institute

  • Yardsticks applied- It applies the yardsticks of life expectancy and incomes to compare the well-being of people in 40,000 micro regions.
  • Progress explained by GDP- The report concludes that growth of GDP at a country level explains only 20% of the progress on the ground. The remaining 80% is local and speci?c.
  • Top-Down approach is flawed- The present theory­ in­ use of top­ down problem­ solving is conceptually ?awed.

Way Ahead

  • Local systems solutions - Complex systemic problems that appear in many places require local systems solutions that are found using cooperation and implemented by communities.
  • Change should come from power systems- Pressure to change and new solutions must come from the peripheries of power systems, with movements on the ground in India and around the world.
  • Economic growth should be more sustainable- The trajectory of progress must be changed to make economic growth more equitable and sustainable.
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