The focus on economic growth as an instrument to lead societies towards sustainable high well-being is increasingly problematic. Research indicates that increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) doesn't necessarily equate to improved subjective well-being. With the new Horizon Europe funded project 'WISER', researchers from the University of Twente's ITC Faculty aim to create a new economic development framework that balances current well-being without compromising the future. In collaboration with more than 20 partners, ITC will be the work package leader to identify non-economic drivers that increase sustainable well-being. Open Universiteit Nederland is the project coordinator.
"We will identify how GDP growth and productivity growth can be promoted and invested in well-being, focusing on relationships that reconcile economic growth and sustainable high well-being while leaving no person and place behind", says Javier Martinez, one of the researchers involved. Together with Marija Bockarjova and Carmen Anthonj they will lead a multi-disciplinary study that uses both quantitative and qualitative methods, with case studies emphasizing lessons from regions like Africa. "Engaging with stakeholders will enhance the relevance of our recommendations. We aim to identify pathways for simultaneous well-being, sustainability, and productivity. Policymakers will receive a dashboard and guidebook to assist in achieving sustainable growth and maximizing societal well-being", as is outlined in the project proposal.
WISER is a Horizon Europe proposal which is granted. More than 20 partners are teaming up for this project. Open Universiteit Nederland is the project coordinator. The Faculty ITC form the University of Twente will lead a Work Package to identify non-economic drivers (natural, physical, social and human) that increase sustainable well-being, leaving no person and place behind. Horizon Europe is an ambitious EU research & innovation framework programme for 2021-2027 with a budget of €95.5 billion. Its overarching goals are: to strengthen the EU's scientific and technological bases and the European Research Area (ERA); to boost Europe's innovation capacity, competitiveness and jobs; and to deliver on citizen's priorities and sustain our socio-economic model and values with a particular focus on creating impact or the European Green Deal, the digital and sustainability transition and recovery from the coronavirus-crisis.