In the face of climate change and growing inequality, our current way of measuring economic success is unfit. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not designed to support human and planetary thriving. It fails to inform decision-makers how sustainable our economies really are.
The Common Good Product (CGP) is a new innovative measure that can be used by policymakers and societies to overcome these limitations. Instead of endless growth on a limited planet, it aims at increasing the wellbeing of people and nature. It shifts the focus of success measurement from the means to the goals.
What is the Common Good Product (CGP)?
The Common Good Product (CGP) is an economic instrument that measures the achievement of core values of a society and progress made towards economic goals derived from these values. The societal goals are defined democratically through a citizens’ assembly or economic convention. A core principle of the ECG movement is participation. Thus, people can submit their proposals for the most relevant areas to be measured to gauge the quality of life, wellbeing for all, and the common good in a participatory process. Of all these proposals, for instance, the top 20 are included in the final CGP. Examples could be zero poverty, biodiversity, trust and security, health and good education, or climate neutrality.
The CGP is an easy-to-understand participatory instrument that works on a municipal, regional and national level. The CGP can be perfectly combined with other projects and other activities of the Economy for the Common Good, such as the Common Good Balance Sheet or Common Good Region (see 10 prototypes).
How does CGP change our economy?
Why is GDP problematic?
What grows when GDP grows is not necessarily organic grain, food security, affordable housing, meaningful work, healthy ecosystems, or even love and peace. GDP growth is little more than an aggregation of market transactions measured in monetary terms, such as the production and sale of food and drinks, airplanes, facility cleaning, business consultation or weapons production, regardless of whether they contribute to human wellbeing and health of the planet or not. The GDP aims at increasing growth, regardless of planetary boundaries and thus at the cost of future generations.
The GDP measures:
The CGP measures:
APPLYING THE CGP
State of affairs: first prototypes
- Spain: The first European municipality that approved a process toward a Common Good Index with the involvement of its citizens is the Andalusian village Guarromán. The process is currently underway.
- Germany: In Münster, citizens are working towards a district CGP. In two “Hansa convents” in June and October 2019, they decided on 20 values and goals to be included in the Common Good Product. Minden, another German city, also organized a citizen convention in 2019 with a broad range of stakeholders. In Marburg, a proposal for a “local happiness index” is currently debated, based on ECG principles.
ECG provides support and guidance for cities, regions, and national governments who are interested in working with CGP.
Developments around the world to replace or complement GDP