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Special Lecture

Towards Building a Sustainable Society: What is the Inclusive Wealth Index?


Date: Monday 7 January 2013


Location: Elizabeth Rose Hall, United Nations University Headquarters

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Organizers: United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP), Global Environmental Outreach Centre, The University of Tokyo, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S), Sustainability Science Consortium.

Supporter: Ministry of the Environment, Japan (TBC)

Languages: English and Japanese (simultaneous interpretation available)

Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 (13 MB)

Contact: Yaeko Higo, UNU-ISP:

What constitutes the true wealth of nations? What kind of index can measure true wealth?

In order to address these questions, the United Nations University International Human Development Programme on Global Environmental Change (UNU-IHDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other partner agencies released the Inclusive Wealth Report 2012(IWR)at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development on 17 June 2012.

Economic production indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI) fail to reflect the state of natural resources or ecological conditions and both focus exclusively on the short term, without indicating whether national policies are sustainable over longer periods of time.

The Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 presents an index that measures the wealth of nations by carrying out a comprehensive analysis of a country's capital assets, including manufactured, human and natural capital, and its corresponding values: the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI).

By assessing changes in natural capital (e.g., forests, watersheds, fossil fuels, fisheries) over time, in addition to manufactured and human capital, inclusive wealth puts new emphasis on the changing state of a country’s natural resource base, stressing its fundamental impact on long-term economic and social sustainability.

The report highlights the usefulness of the index, pointing out that “the world’s fixation on economic growth ignores a rapid and largely irreversible trend of natural resources depletion that will seriously harm future generations. IWI presents sustainability of wealth and development of nation”.

In this event, Professor Partha Dasgupta (Science Advisor to IWR and Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge), Professor Anantha Duraiappah (Executive Director of UNU-IHDP), and Professor Kazuhiro Ueda (Professor of Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University) will speak on the concept and significance of IWI.

English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation will be provided.


To register for this event, please click on the link below and complete the registration form. Registration will be closed when it reaches the capacity.

Draft Programme


Opening Remarks  

Professor Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Vice-Rector of UNU and Director of UNU-ISP
Mr. Shigeo Okaya, Director, Environmental Strategy Division Environmental Policy Bureau, Ministry of the Environment


“Sustainability and the Idea of National Wealth”

Professor Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge

  Introduction of the Inclusive Wealth Report 2012

“The Inclusive Wealth Report 2012: Findings and Policy Implications”

Professor Anantha Duraiappah, Executive Director of UNU-IHDP


“Significance and Challenges of the Inclusive Wealth Index”

Professor Kazuhiro Ueda, Professor of Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University


Questions and Answers


Lunch Reception