Impact Measurement: Introducing the GCP – Gross Community Product

Moving into Doing

Underneath the fabric of our culture and society, we know. We, the people, know what a good life is, what needs to be done to get there. But more often than not, we don't allow this knowledge to surface, let alone to turn into action.

This is why we do MOTHERLAND – to help turn this inherent knowledge into action where the people are – with and for the people. We do this by building on the understanding that an economic activity that serves humans and the planet cannot be measured in a single type of unit, but has to be measured in a holistic way, integrating context and subjective wellbeing into a measure of progress.

To do so, we are developing the GCP which we can be outlined as follows:

  1. The Gross Community Product (GCP) measures the total economic activity of a community. In order to do so, the GCP expands the notion of capital to eight forms (as described by Ethan Soloviev). The GCP defines "economic activity" as any activity that supports the ongoing wellbeing of all community members, where wellbeing is measured as the subjective level of fulfilment along the five dimensions of Maslow.

  2. Measurement
    Five of the eight forms of capital are both hard to impossible to measure and abundant. This is why measuring happens on a subjective self-assessment basis by all community members. These five are social, intellectual, spiritual, experiential and cultural capital.

    The three remaining ones are scarce and can be measured in absolute terms: financial, material and living capital. While abundant forms of capital can and should grow continuously, the scarce forms of capital are more complex:

    1. Financial Capital: in the context of GCP we don't measure the accumulation of financial capital, but instead, (1) the velocity of its flows inside of the community and (2) the relative percentage between intracommunity flows and inter-community flows of financial capital

    2. Living Capital: The living capital of the community is also measured in two dimensions (1) can the living capital in the form of plants and animals support the physiological dimensions of needs in the community at present and (2) in the foreseeable future?

    3. Material Capital: Similarly to living capital, material capital is measured in relation to the size and context of the community. It must be sufficient to secure the short and long term physiological needs of the community members but must not exceed carrying necessity.

  3. Interpretation and Calculation

    80% of the GCP are based on the abundant forms of capital. Both the results of the measurement of the current time period and the previous are factored into this in order to represent stagnation, increase or decrease.

    The remaining 20% are based on the scarce forms of capital which are rated relative to the required quantities for short and long term thriving of the community (measured as a high measure of abundant forms of capital).

We clearly are in the early phases of defining the GCP theoretically and will test and improve it as we begin work on the ground.

Do you have any comments, feedback, or ideas on how to make this form of impact measurement feasible please get in touch with us?