Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsHello, I'm Henrietta Moore, and I'm the Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London. Prosperity is an English word that doesn't necessarily trip easily off the tongue, but it's becoming a problem for all of us. And in this online course, we're going to talk about why. In Week One, we're going to talk about how our ideas of social progress have been dominated by economics, the origins of the GDP-- gross domestic product-- and why that is becoming a difficulty as we try to face the challenges of the 21st century. So Week Two, we talk about other ways of thinking about progress in society, in the economy, and in politics.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsAnd we take you through the very latest research in the Institute for Global Prosperity. Week Three explores the frameworks for change-- new ways in which we're thinking, and the new kinds of institutions that are going to emerge, that are going to allow us to tackle some of the issues around, how do we make life worth living for everyone? In Week Four, we look at some of the pioneers of change-- the businesses and ordinary people that aren't waiting for government to bring about change, but they are getting on and looking at the new kinds of approaches and institutions, ways of thinking about the economy, that can actually help us to build a future in the 21st century.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsLots of countries in the world are talking about prosperity, but it's a genuinely global conversation. We all have different ideas, and we hope that in this online course, you will join with the IGP in coming up with new ideas. And by the time you get to the end of the course, that you will be part of the online community that we're building to try to rethink prosperity for the 21st century.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to our course, Global Prosperity Beyond GDP. I’m your Lead Educator, Professor Henrietta Moore, and I’m based at the Institute for Global Prosperity at UCL. Let’s get started!

Why are we here?

For decades, gross domestic product, or GDP, has shaped our idea of progress. Every year it tells us how fast economies are growing. But does it tell us if things are getting better? Does it tell us if people are flourishing and enjoying their lives?

We’ve been told that a society improves when the economy grows, that the impact of constant growth in consumption on environment is something that we can fix later, and that global inequality is something that must be tolerated. However, with the challenges of climate change, population growth, inequality, pressure on resources, environmental degradation, and ageing populations ahead, can we afford to leave our fate to old, stale ideas about economics? How else can we think about progress?

In this course we will shift the conversation away from economics and towards prosperity. Instead of simply asking how we can get our economies to grow, we will explore how we got to where we are today, and how, with the right approach, people everywhere can build a more hopeful, prosperous future.

What will we learn?

In Week one, we will learn about how GDP became the main indicator of success in society, and ask whether excessive focus on GDP and our current ideas of economic success are leading us astray and incapable of meeting 21-st century challenges.

In Week two, we’ll look at the explicit links between social progress and GDP, then explore alternative ways to measure a society’s success.

In Week three, we’ll examine the challenge ahead, and explore some frameworks of change that are there to help instigate common action.

Lastly, in Week four, we’ll discuss how we can build a new economy that works better for people and the planet.

Learning from each other

When you feel happy with the material and ideas covered in a step, please Mark as Complete before moving on to the next step. You can check your progress using the Progress tab at the top of each page.

In the opening discussions we are already seeing contributions from learners across the world. We hope, with this wealth of experience and knowledge, that the comments area of each step will be a valuable place for you to share your experience and ask and answer questions, so that we learn from each other as well as from the content in the course.

If you have already begun to contribute, other learners may have replied to you. You will receive notifications of any new ‘Replies’ in the top right of the page. You can ‘like’ comments if you agree with what’s been said or if you have found something particularly interesting. You can also filter the comments by ‘Most liked’, and ‘Follow’ those individuals who are of particular interest to you.

Upgrading this course

There is the option to upgrade to gain extra benefits from the course. When you upgrade you will get unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn, so you can move through the course as quickly or slowly as you wish. You will also be able to access a Certificate of Achievement when you meet the criteria.

Find out more and upgrade now

Meet the team

We hope you find the course material informative and engaging, and we very much look forward to learning with you throughout our time together. You might like to follow members of the course team to highlight their participation in course discussions, and can do so by following the links on their names below.

Lead Educator: Professor Henrietta Moore
Educator: Dr Konrad Miciukiewicz

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Global Prosperity Beyond GDP

UCL (University College London)