ou can hire a management consultant to fine-tune your factory. But probably not your life. Why? Because you probably wouldn’t judge the success or failure of your life based on how efficient and productive you’d been at making PowerPoint decks. Yet,if it often seems that we still conceive of the economy like a giant assembly line, that’s because, well, we do
. Economies are built on “fundamentals”–and like a factory with crumbling foundations, ours are a whole era out of date. We still rely on industrial age fundamentals: assembly-line conceptions of efficiency, productivity and effectiveness which measure and monitor how efficiently, productively, and effectively an economy is maximizing “Gross Product”. While many of the globe’s most advanced societies have learned to excel–like factories that have hired management consultants to fine-tune their output—at maximizing the volume of junk they can churn out, while many societies have indeed become more productive and efficient, the plain truth is: those gains haven’t translated into lasting gains in real human welfare. Higher order fundamentals are radical new measures, like eco-efficiency
that help decision makers optimise an economy not just for the growth of gross industrial output, but the ignition of real human prosperity: they measure and monitor how efficiently, productively, and effectively an economy is seeding and renewing real social, human, and natural wealth.