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Prosperity depends completely on the ecosystem services on which humanity relies. (Image by Nico Nelson via Flickr.)

In 1992, governments at the Rio Earth Summit made a historic commitment to sustainable development—an economic system that promotes the health of both people and ecosystems. Twenty years and several summits later, human civilization has never been closer to ecological collapse, one third of humanity lives in poverty, and another 2 billion people are projected to join the human race over the next 40 years. How will we move toward sustainable prosperity equitably shared among all even as our population grows, our cities strain to accommodate more and more people, and our ecological systems decline?

To promote discussion around this vital topic at the Rio+20 U.N. Conference and beyond, State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity showcases innovative projects, creative policies, and fresh approaches that are advancing sustainable development in the twenty-first century. In articles from experts around the world, this report presents a comprehensive look at current trends in global economics and sustainability, a policy toolbox of clear solutions to some of our most pressing environmental and human challenges, and a path for reforming economic institutions to promote both ecological health and prosperity.

This website further expands on the report with additional essays, links to translated editions, news updates, a discussion guide, videos, presentation slides, and a primer on degrowth to help you move your community toward sustainable prosperity. Sustainable Prosperity is a project of Worldwatch Institute, in cooperation with Worldwatch Institute Europe.

Project Staff
Erik Assadourian, co-director
Michael Renner, co-director

Contact Us

Questions or comments about the project? Or interest in hosting a presentation or discussion on sustainable prosperity? Contact Erik Assadourian at eassadourian [at] worldwatch.org or Michael Renner at mrenner [at] worldwatch.org.