Projects & Publications


Redesigning Money for Economies of Wellbeing 

This is a paper I presented at the April 12-13, 2012 Creating Money in a Finite World summit at the Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California.

The greatest threat to the pursuit of genuine happiness and well-being is our current debt-money system. In the face of an international debt-crisis, there is no serious discussion about how money could be reinvented to support a new economic paradigm based on well-being and happiness.. The majority of the world’s current challenges (poverty, climate change, rising inequality, and ecological destruction) could be readily resolved by implementing a new debt-free monetary system where money is created, without debt and interest charges, but rather in sufficient supply to facilitate genuine happiness and well-being. Money would no longer be created as debt (as it is today) but in parallel with the ‘genuine wealth’ (human, social, natural, and built capital assets) that are the foundation of a happy and good life. Such a new money system would be governed by citizen ‘trusts’ bound by principles that would include ecological resilience, social justice and the fair and equitable distribution of well-being.

Edmonton GPI 2009 Report

The Edmonton 2009 GPI Executive Summary

Edmonton Genuine Wellbeing Index 2008

Edmonton's Index of Wellbeing

Edmonton is the first city in North America to have used the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) framework for assessing the economic, social and environmental well-being conditions and trends for guiding public policy, planning and budgeting. This report, released in January 2010 provides a comprehensive portrait of well-being and trends between 1981-2008. The report is helping to inform Edmonton’s strategic planning and budgeting processes.

Leduc Genuine Wealth Report 2006

Leduc Genuine Wellbeing Index

The first Genuine Wealth assessment has been completed for the City of Leduc and Alberta’s International Region in 2006. Using the Genuine Wealth. five-capitals model the values of the citizen’s of this vibrant community were assessed and a comprehensive well-being check-up was completed using over 100 indicators of economic, social, and environmental well-being. The assessment will help citizens and decision makers begin to measure what mattters most to their quality of life beyond conventional economic measures like the GDP.

The Economics of Happiness in Colwood, B.C.

On Thursday, November 12, 2009, Colwood Community Place and the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria hosted a suite of three separate and related events. A Community Happiness Roundtable at Colwood City Hall. The Colwood 2010 and Beyond, an invitational working lunch session with representatives from all levels of government, businesses, community organizations and the media. And, a dynamic public Economics of Happiness Forum, at Royal Roads University for people passionate about community and corporate social responsibility, learners and families looking for a meaningful roadmap to a sustainable future.

Mark Anielski and Chinese Economists

Genuine Wealth and The Greening of China

Between 2003-2006 I served as a senior economic advisor to China helping them develop green national accounts and new indicators of genuine well-being and progress that are aligned with their philosophy of what they call a harmonious xiaokang society. Xiaokang originates from Confucianism (2000 years ago) and literally means a “society of small peace/comfort/health.”

The vision of a xiaokang society is one in which most people are moderately well off and middle class, and in which economic prosperity is sufficient to move most of the Chinese population into comfortable means, but in which economic growth is not the sole focus of society. Harmonious is a term which is Taoist in nature; it means to live in harmony with nature. Balancing economic growth with often conflicting goals of social equality and environmental protection can be a challenge. This is my article which appeared in the December 2005 issue of Adbusters magazine on China’s exciting journey.

Genuine Wealth Assessment in Tyrol, Austria (download report)

In 2008, the Chamber of Labor in the state Tyrol in Austria retained Department of Social Work at MCI to conduct a Genuine Wealth Assessment of several communities in Tyrol. Through this assessment, the Chamber of Labor wanted to gain an appreciation of Tyrols’s wealth in terms that aren’t readily measurable by conventional means: the well-being of the communities. To implement the Genuine Wealth Assessment (GWA) the research team of the Department of Social Work operationalized a Canadian model of economist Mark Anielski and – in the next step – engaged a number of Tyrolian residents in dialogue through surveys to first understand the residents’ core values. Information from other studies and surveys being done in Tyrol at the same time also provided important information about the social needs and values of the communities. The study went on to identify and assess the physical, financial, and environmental conditions in the seven Tyrol communities. Read about the Genuine Wealth project in Municipal World magazine article.

Mackenzie Real Wealth Report 2009

This new study released January 31, 2007 commissioned by the Canadian Boreal Initiative with my colleague Sara Wilson, examines and compares the ecosystem service values (Ecosystem Service Product or ESP) of Canada’s extensive Mackenzie river watershed with market-based GDP from the extraction of oil, gas and timber from this region, part of Canada’s boreal ecosystem. Our study shows that the ESP values for 17 ecosystem functions could be as much as $448 billion or more than 10 times greater than the GDP of $42 billion for the whole region, including the GDP generated by Alberta’s oilsands, natural gas, mining and agricultural industries combined. This study shows how nature’s real values can be taken more fully into account and how ecosystem depreciation costs can be factored into economic development policy and business decision making at an ecosystem scale.

The Genuine Value of Canada’s Boreal Ecosystem

This 2009 updated study, originally completed in 2005 for the Canadian Boreal Initiative by my colleague Sara Wilson, examines the biophysical state and real economic value of Canada’s boreal ecosystems natural capital and ecological goods and services which are currently ignored in measures like the GDP. The report provides a new framework for which provinces, states and nations can account for the genuine value of their natural capital to human well-being.

Ontario Smart Growth Sustainable Community Report 2007 

By: Ray Tomalty, Mark Anielski, Don Alexander and Mark Winfield
For the Pembina Institute
This study provides a snapshot of the sustainability of selected communities across Ontario in recent years. The study employs 33 indicators in three broad categories (smart growth, livability and economic vitality) to develop an overall community sustainability index for 27 Ontario municipalities. The municipalities include major cities, regional municipalities and medium- and smaller-sized cities from across the province. The sample of municipalities includes communities experiencing high, medium and low levels of population and population growth. The objective of the report is to inform and provide a basis of measurement for communities and the province for urban sustainability policies and program development.

Genuine Wealth: Building an Economy of Well-being for the City of Leduc and Leduc County. This article was published in Municipal World Magazine, April, 2006 (Genuine Wealth for the City of Leduc and Leduc County)

Genuine Wealth Accounting: Measuring the Sustainability of Communities (download report)

What is Genuine Wealth Accounting? How can it be used to measure the sustainability of the real wealth of communities?

The Meaning of Wealth (download)

What is the meaning of wealth? How do you know you are building genuine wealth?

Canadian Index of Well-being (download)

I am currently working with a group of Canada’s leading well-being measurement experts in the creation of a Canadian Index of Well-being. The purpose of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) is to provide Canadians with a clear, valid, and regular accounting of the things that matter to them and the genuine progress of Canada. Our goal is to account honestly and accurately for changes in our human, social, economic and natural wealth through a new index that can best capture the full range of factors that determine wellbeing in Canada. Our vision is that the CIW will help foster a common vision for the future of Canada and will be used as a basis for improving health and wellbeing outcomes that matter to Canadians.

Ecological Footprints of Canadian Municipalities and Regions (download report)

Mathis Wackernagel, co-creator of the Ecological Footprint, argues that “sustainability, or satisfying lives for all within the means of nature, depends on making sure people do not use more ecological services than nature can regenerate.” This is the basis of the Ecological Footprint as a measure of the sustainability of our lifestyles. Jeff Wilson and I have completed the first national study of the Ecological Footprints of Canadas’ largest cities and regions for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities

An Assessment of Sweden’s No-Interest JAK Members Bank (download report)

Can a bank operate without charging interest on loans? Yes!. In Sweden theJAK Members Bank is a cooperative bank that does not charge interest on mortgages and loans. Read about this remarkable bank in the study I completed in 2003.In Britain, the first bank to operate on Islamic principles (the Islamic Bank of Britain), including interest-free loans, opened its doors in September 2004. Islam’s Sharia law imposes a series of restrictions on banks, including a ban on charging interest for loans and prohibiting clients’ money from being invested in activities linked to alcohol, tobacco and pornography.

Sustainability Within a Generation: A New Vision for Canada

If Canada had a strategic-business plan for sutsainability and genuine wealth what would it look like? The David Suzuki Foundation’s “Sustainability Within a Generation” provides a blueprint and roadmap I helped develop this new vision for Canada with David Boyd (environmental lawyer and author of “Unnatural Law”) and others.

Fertile Obfuscation: Making Money Whilst Eroding Living Capital

Why does the economy have to keep growing? Are there alternative way of measuring progress? What is the nature of money and where does it come from? Why does our debt-based money system actually destroy life’s real wealth (living apital)? This paper I presented at the 34th annual Canadian Economics Association conference, June 2-4, 2000,Vancouver, B.C. Based on this work Mark was awarded the 2004 ECO Award for excellence in the category of the Kyoto Protocol. The ECO Award is an international award given yearly for achievements in several categories related to sustainability.

Raffi: Centre for Child Honouring

Many say we inherit the earth from our children. What if we asked the children to help us design a sustainable world. What would they say? What would the dream of? What can they teach us? The Child Honouring vision is that of Raffi, a renowned Canadian songwriter and performer, author, ecology advocate and entrepreneur, once called “the most popular children’s entertainer in the western world” (Washington Post).


Here are some of the reports, papers and articles I have written or co-authored over the years.

Anielski, Mark. 2005. “The Greening of China: Is China on the Genuine Wealth path?Adbusters. December 2005.

Anielski, Mark. 2005. Integrated sustainability and well-being indicator accounting systems for sustainability performance measurement and policy evaluation in China. Research paper for the Chinese National Academy of Sciences and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, August 26, 2005 Cheng De, China.

Anielski, M. 2004. Greening National Accounts: International Practices in Pluralistic Environmental Accounting and the Measurement of Sustainable Development. Research paper for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, November 23, 2004, Beijing, China.

Anielski, M. and J. Wilson. 2004. The Ecological Footprints of Canadian Municipalities and Regions. Prepared for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. September 2004.

Anielski, M. 2004. Alberta Traffic Safety Progress Report: Indicators and Trends. Report prepared for the Alberta Motor Association. September 2004.

Anielski, M. 2004. JAK Members Bank: An Assessment of the Sweden’s No-Interest Bank. Paper prepared for Van City Capital Corp. January 2004.

Anielski, M. 2003. “The Meaning of Wealth.” Connections Magazine.

Anielski, M. 2003. Measuring the Genuine Wealth of Communities. Anielski Management Inc.

Anielski, M. and D. Pollock. 2003. The State of Inuit Well Being in Nunavut. Report prepared for the Nunavut Social Development Council and the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. March 1, 2003

Anielski Management Inc.. 2002. Active Communities Framework. Report prepared for the Alberta Recreation and Parks, November 13, 2002.

Anielski Management Inc.. 2002. A Framework for Measuring Community Quality of Life Related to Recreation and Parks. Research paper prepared for the Alberta Recreation and Parks, May 12, 2002.

Anielski, Mark. 2002.A Sustainability Accounting System for Canada. Research paper prepared for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, June 15, 2002.

Anielski, Mark and M. Winfield. 2002. A Conceptual Framework for Monitoring Municipal and Community Sustainability in Canada. Research paper prepared for Environment Canada, June 17, 2002.

Anielski, Mark. 2002. Is the Alberta Advantage Sustainable?: The Alberta Genuine Progress Indicators.” Paper presented at the Thirty Sixth Annual Meeting of the Canadian Economics Association: June 1, 2002, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

Anielski, Mark.”The Norway Advantage.” Opinion Editorial published in the Edmonton Journal, March 22, 2002.

Anielski, Mark. 2001. Towards a Measurement of Ecological Integrity. Paper prepared for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. November 15, 2001.

Anielski, Mark. 2001. “GPI: Sustainability Trends 2000, Alberta” in Bringing Business on Board: Sustainable Development and the B-School Curriculum ed. Peter N.Nemetz. Volumes 27-29, 1999-2001. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver: JBA Press: pp. 595-614.

Anielski, Mark. and Colin Soskolne. 2001. “Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Accounting: Relating Ecological Integrity to Human Health and Well-Being.” Chapter 9 in Just Ecological Integrity: The Ethics of Maintaining Planetary Life, eds. Peter Miller and Laura Westra. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield: pp. 83-97.

Anielski, Mark. 2001. Measuring the Sustainability of Nations: The Genuine Progress Indicator System of Sustainable Well-being Accounts.” The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability of the Global Market Place, August 2001, Montreal, Quebec.


Anielski, Mark. 2001. “Advantage or Illusion: Is Alberta’s Progress Sustainable?”Encompass Vol. 5, No. 5, July/August 2001.

Anielski, M. and S. Wilson. 2001. The Alberta GPI Environmental Accounts. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. Paper prepared for the National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment. April 2001.

Anielski, Mark. The Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI) Accounting Project: Charting a Sustainable Future for all Canadians. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. Paper prepared for the National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment. January 2001.

Anielski, M, D. Herbert, A. Taylor and D. Pollock. 2000. Analysis of U.S. Ecological Fiscal Reform Activity. Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. Discussion paper for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, May 2000.

Anielski, Mark, Barbara Campbell, and Larry DuGuay. 2000. Yukon Sustainable Progress Indicators: Framework, Indicators and Implementation Approach for Reviewing the Yukon Economic Strategy. Prepared for The Yukon Council on the Economy and the Environment by the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development. March 31. 2000.

Anielski, M. 1999. The Genuine Progress Indicator: A Principled Approach to EconomicsEncompass Magazine, October 1999

Anielski, M. 1999. Misplaced Concreteness: Measuring Genuine Progress and the Nature of Money. Proceedings of the Third Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics Nature, Wealth and the Human Economy in the Next Millenium, August 1999, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Anielski, M. and J.Rowe. 1999. The Genuine Progress Indicator – 1998 Update. Redefining Progress, San Francisco. March 1999.

Anielski. M and J. Rowe. 1999. The U.S. Genuine Progress Indicator: Summary Report.Redefining Progress, San Francisco

Anielski, M. 1999. The 1998 U.S. Genuine Progress Indicator Methodology Handbook. Redefining Progress, San Francisco.

Anielski, Mark.1999.Alberta’s Experience with Accountability Legislation: Lessons Learned. Paper presented at the “Results-Based Accountability in the Public Sector, Crown Corporations, Boards and Commissions” Conference, Ottawa, February 22-23, 1999.

Anielski, Mark.1998. “Natural Capitalism” in Assault on the Rockies, edited by Ian Urquhart, Rowen Books, Edmonton.

Anielski, Mark. 1998. In Search of the Carbonic Truth. Paper presented at the Parkland Institute Conference at the session “Beyond Kyoto: Natural Resource Policy and the Environment.” November 1998.

Anielski, Mark.1998. “The H.M.S. Alberta Advantage and Icebergs.” POST – The Magazine of the Parkland Institute of Alberta. May 1998.

Anielski, Mark.1997. “Natural Capitalism – Exposing the Economic Growth Myth.” Encompass – Alberta’s Magazine on the Environment. July 1997.

Anielski, Mark.1997. Is Alberta Running Out of Nature’s Capital – Physical and Monetary Accounts for Alberta’s Oil, Gas and Timber. Paper presented on March 5, 1997 at the Institute for Public Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton. Data Tables

Anielski, Mark.1996. Accounting for the Sustainability of Alberta’s Forests – the 1995 Timber Resource Account. Alberta Treasury, (unpublished paper).

Anielski, Mark.1994. Resource Accounting II: from theory to application – Alberta’s timber account in 1991. Paper presented at the Conference on Forestry and Environment, Economic Perspectives II, Banff, Alberta, October, 1994.

Anielski, Mark.1992. Natural resource accounting – measuring and achieving sustainable development. In Environmental Issues and Management in Energy and Mineral Production. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Environmental Issues and Management of Waste in Energy and Mineral Production, R.K. Singhal, A.K. Mehrotra, K. Fytas, and J-L. Collins eds. Calgary, Alberta, September 1-4, 1992.

Anielski, Mark.1992 Resource accounting: indicators of the sustainability of Alberta’s forest resources. Paper presented at the Second Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Economics, Stockholm, Sweden, August, 1992.

For copies of these and other articles please contact Mark Anielski

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