Stockholm Seminar

Gross ecosystem product: An attractor for social innovation and transformation

Recording of the seminar that took place at the The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 13 March 2023


Seminar with Gretchen Daily, Stanford University, Steve Polasky, University of Minnesota, and Tong Wu, Stanford University

The Great Depression in the 1930s exposed the urgent need for better macroeconomic performance metrics, such as gross domestic product (GDP), to guide policy. Yet, GDP is mostly blind to the values of nature. In response to the current “Great Degradation” of nature, we are helping to design and advance a new metric – gross ecosystem product (GEP) – for tracking ecological performance and guiding investments in regeneration.

In this seminar, you will hear about how GEP is designed, how it works and how it also works as a powerful “attractor”, sparking social innovation in societies and spheres globally. The concept of GEP originated in China, where it is now being adopted country-wide on a foundation of internationally co-developed science and methodology.

Since approval by the United Nations Statistical Commission in 2021, other countries have been requesting assistance in adoption. GEP is in the lift-off phase now and, with support, could prove transformative to inclusive, green pathways of development.

A recording of the event can be seen here.

The Stockholm Seminars are open for all and cover a broad range of sustainability science perspectives with a focus on the dynamics and stewardship of social-ecological systems.

About the speakers

Gretchen Daily’s work is focused on understanding human dependence and impacts on nature and the deep societal transformations needed to secure people and nature. Her work spans fundamental research and policy-oriented initiatives engaging with governments, multilateral development banks, investors, businesses, farmers and ranchers, communities, and NGOs.

Steve Polasky’s research examines the contributions of nature to human well-being and analyzes the impacts of land use and land management on the provision and value of ecosystem services and natural capital. His research interests extend to issues in biodiversity conservation, sustainability, environmental regulation, renewable energy, climate change, and management of common property resources.

Tong Wu’s current major research focus is the development of gross ecosystem product (GEP) as a policy instrument for aligning environmental and socio-economic imperatives. Topics that he has worked on include the mainstreaming of ecosystem services in management and planning, the role of nature in improving public health outcomes, and strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Event details

Monday 13 March 2023

Linne Hall, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Lilla Fescativägen 4A, Stockholm

Watch the recording of the seminar here.


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