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The 7 Principles of Prosperity


The 7 Principles of Prosperity

In this insightful article, Indranil Ghosh shares a quick review of building civilization, how the focus and values have changed, and how we can move forward with 7 Principles of Prosperity.

It began, anthropologists tell us, with the pig. From the beginning of human history, humans hunted meat and gathered grains, berries and the other staples of their survival, vulnerable to the whims of predators and the environment. However, about 13,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, hunters began capturing rather than killing wild boar. In time, the smaller and more docile among these creatures proved easier to manage in captivity, and evolved into the domesticated pig. Domestication of cattle would follow, about 2,000 years later, along with the first cultivation of grains, fruits and vegetables. The first building block of civilization was thus laid, and along with it, the primacy of economic production.

For most of the intervening years, whether the commodity in question was Sumerian pork bellies, East Indian spices, Dutch tulips, Virginia tobacco, or rare earths from China, expanding production has been equated in the human consciousness with increasing prosperity. Arguably, the equivalence makes sense as long as increasing production continues to alleviate the scourge of hunger and poverty and provides the average person with basic provisions. Since production has not reached a level to satisfy the basic materials needs of society – except very recently in the richest countries – it is not surprising that humanity has been obsessed with increasing production as its primary means to achieve prosperity.

The Great Depression demanded a new rigor in economic statistics, and in 1934, the economist Simon Kuznets devised Gross National Product (GNP) as a way to measure the speed of US economic growth, and as the basis of a National accounting method. Its initial success in the 1930s led to the use of GNP as a foundation for US production planning during World War II. Although Kuznets himself warned that “the welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income”, GNP (revised in the 1970s to GDP – Gross Domestic Product), was adopted as the national, and eventually the global, standard for measuring production. As with any standard, once ingrained into our ways of working as a simple, actionable and widely understood construct, GDP became the primary yard-stick by which nations not only measured, but also steered, their economies. It also became the accepted proxy for prosperity.

Key points include:

  • Post-war global economy
  • Universal Basic Provision

  • Value Creation Throughout the Socio-economy

Read the full article, From Production to Prosperity, on