Japan: Survey of Lifestyle Preferences

Progess indicator

First carried out in 1972, this ground-breaking Japanese survey looks beyond industrial output, to understand real human welfare--how satisfied people are with their lives, and what their concerns and challenges are. Since 1972, it has measured and monitored happiness in Japanese society.

India: Green GDP

GDP 2.0

In 2005, India announced plans to build a Green GDP: an updated conception of national income that hopes to factor mounting environmental and social costs into GDP. By 2007, India had put together a council of expert advisors; and it hopes to release the first wave of Green GDP in 2015, marking it as an aspiring world leader in redefining prosperity.

Bhutan: Gross National Happiness

GDP 2.0

In 1972 Jigme Singye, King of Bhutan, coined the phrase Gross National Happiness to explain the type of economy he wanted to build for his country that reflected the national context and Bhuddist values. One of the world's first pioneers of post-industrial institutions, today, Bhutan explicitly--and controversially, in Western eyes--optimizes it’s economy for GNH, not GDP.

China: Quality of Growth Indicators

GDP 2.0

In 2011, China--after decades of breackneck growth that brought pollution, inequality, and crisis—innovated new post-growth indicators that aim to comprehensively assess growth's real human costs, marking China as an aspiring world leader in reinventing capitalism.

Australia: Measuring our Progress

Progress Indicator

In 2002, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published the Measuring our Progress (MAP) survey for the first time. by way of 17 indicators, this annual survey sets out to map and measure three intertwined elements of the country’s progress: the wellbeing of society, the structure and growth of the economy and the state of the natural environment--firmly marking Australia as a world leader in redefining prosperity.

New Zealand: Mixed member proportional representation


In 1996 New Zealand held its first election using a mixed member proportional representation system. That's a long phrase for a simple, radical concept: the size of the house of representatives can increase or decrease depending on numbers of votes parties receive. In a 2011 referendum, New Zealand opted to keep this pioneering, flexible, responsive system of representation.

South Africa: King Code of Corporate Governance

Impact Statement

In 2011, South Africa aimed at a new standard: a code of corporate governance which called for companies in (and outside) South Africa to integrate not just financial disclosures, but environmental, social, and governance impacts, in their annual reports. It’s a pioneering step towards building corporationsl fit for the future.

Bolivia: Law of Mother Earth

Third Generation Rights

In 2005, biodiversity rich, 65% indigenous Bolivia became the first country to grant ‘Earth and life systems’ specific rights. Its pioneering stance on legally recognising the value of nature chimed with an indigenous culture and 21st century understanding of the value of wellbeing to the future health of the country.

Brazil: Cultural Capital Accounts

Higher Order Capital Accounts

In 2011, Brazil’s Ministry of Culture set out a 5 year plan in which creativity--a national value--would become a true cornerstone of the country’s economy. The plan proposes an account for cultural capital built by the National Office of Statistics--perhaps the world's first. It marks Brazil as a radical innovator in reinventing capitalism.

Mexico: Oportunidades

Higher Order Fundamentals

For 15 years, unlike traditional welfare, Oportunidades--Mexico's ground-breaking conditional cash transfer program--has made direct cash payments to mothers depending on school attendance and regular preventative healthcare. Oportunidades has been so successful that it hasn't just been copied, for example, by NYC, marking Mexico as a hotspot in forging a better social contract.

USA: Measuring Intangible Capital

Higher Order Capital Accounts

In the 1990s, America's Bureau of Economic Analysis, recognizing an industrial economy evolving into a knowledge economy, finally set out to measure intangible capital in a set of satellite accounts. America was an early pioneer in redefining prosperity, but has yet to finish the journey.

USA: Benefit Corporations


Since April 2010, 7 US states have enacted benefit corporation legislation. As a counter to legal obligations to pursue profit maximisation for shareholders, this vehicle permits companies to be set up to pursue social and environmental objectives alongside financial motives--allowing talent, ideas, and effort to mobilized in the pursuit of ideas that matter.

Canada: Index of Well-being

Progress Indicator

Over 18 years, government, academia, and civil society in Canada have worked together to craft Canada's pioneering national Index of Wellbeing. It is made up of 8 subcategories-- standard of living, health, quality of environment, education, time use, community vitality, democratic engagement, and leisure and culture--whose scale and scope mark Canada as a world leader in redefining prosperity.

Denmark: Green Accounts Act


Since 1995, large publicly traded companies in Denmark have been required to report not just a set of financial accounts, but a set of “green accounts”: accounts which measure and define their environmental impact in hard, quantified terms. It marks Denmark as a world leader in inventing a capitalism fit for the future.

France: Grenelles II Act

Impact Statement

In 2012, France passed the groundbreaking Grenelles II Act, which requires all companies with more than 500 employees to include third-party-audited information about their environmental and social impacts (including that of all their subsidiaries) in their annual reports. It marks France as a pioneer in reinventing capitalism.

UK: Community Interest Companies


In 2005, the UK's Companies Act created the legal basis for Community Interest Corporations—next-gen corporations designed to create social value, not just shareholder value. More than 6000 companies in the UK are CICs, marking the UK as a pioneer in reinveinting capitalism.

Switzerland: Federal Council
Peer-to-Peer Leadership

Switzerland doesn't have a Chief Executive: it has a council of them. The Swiss Federal Council is the seven-member executive council which serves as the Swiss collective head of state. The council is an institution that has long marked Switzerland as a global leader in democracy.

Germany: Vorstand


In Germany, companies aren't governed by one board, but by two. And the superior board--the Aufsichtsrat--isn't just composed of shareholders' representatives, but employees' representatives as well, giving workers as much as voice as owners. This pioneering, equitable approach, once seen as radical, today marks Germany as a world leader in building a better capitalism.

Finland: Open Ministry

Deliberative democracy

Finland's new "Open Ministry" project is a radical experiment in direct digital democracy: a digital platform where citizen proposals that receive over 50,000 shares or likes pass through to be voted on in Parliament. It marks Finland as a radical innovator in redesigning democracy.

Iceland: Crowdsourced Constitution

Deliberative Democracy

In 2011, after deep financial crisis, Iceland decided to draft a new constitution--radically: by crowdsourcing. In 2012, Icelanders approved their new constitution, marking Iceland one of the world's foremost radical innovators in redesigning democracy.

California: Assembly Bill 32


In 2006, California passed Assembly Bill 32, which creates the world's second-biggest cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions marketplace--and the bill went into effect in 2012. It's a pioneering step that marks California an aspiring leader in reinventing capitalism.



Some countries aren’t ready to step beyond the past–and some countries are already furiously creating the future. The Index scores countries according to how near to–or distant from–the institutional frontier they are. It provides a snapshot of institutional innovation globally–and provides a baseline for assessing how ready or unready nations are  to take on the challenges of creating, renewing, and sustaining real human prosperity.


How would you begin fixing the world? The book chronicles the untold story of countries around the globe who are pioneering radical new approaches to work, life, and play. Charting the institutions above, explaining in detail why each matters, and taking a shot at dreaming up new institutions, it tells the story of how and why the world’s institutions broke–and how to not just repair them, but reinvent them. Hence, it’s a manual and a handbook for radical innovators who want to reinvent, reboot, reimagine–and revolutionize.


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