From Growth to Wellbeing

The devastating impacts of climate change, rising inequalities within and across countries, increasing fragility and global health emergencies demand a rethinking of socio-economic practices and systems that follow the economic growth paradigm. The world faces profound economic, environmental, and social challenges, as the international community comes to realize that the basic requirements and consumption needs of an ever-growing population cannot be sustainably met by simply maximizing economic output.

Our formats

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The 2022 GIZ Future Forum “From Growth to Wellbeing: Rethinking Development for a Digital, Green, and Just Transformation” aims at shaping the debate on how to shift economic thinking towards aligning progress across all dimensions of sustainable development and harnessing emerging potentials for development. The debate addresses various leverage points for a transformation of economic and social development respecting planetary boundaries and centered on human wellbeing.  

Learn more on the Future Forum website.

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To this aim, alongside our Future Forum event, we produced a podcast series „From Growth to Wellbeing. By GIZ & Partner”. In this series of seven episodes, Alissa Stein, our podcast host, invites to discuss concepts of economic transformation currently hotly debated. The podcast provides different perspectives from renown experts and practitioners in our partner countries.

We want to innovate and learn from each other in an interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral exchange and share our lessons learnt with the wider international development community. So, if you want to look beyond the horizon with us, make sure you subscribe to our new podcast on your preferred platform. A new episode will be released every second week. The first episode is soon available on all common streaming platforms!

Please share your feedback and comments with us by sending an e-mail to

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A new episode is available every second week on common podcast streaming providers


The three thematic blocks

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This thematic block takes a closer look at the rationale for and implications of moving beyond the traditional focus on economic growth and explores what a focus on wellbeing would mean. It seeks to provide answers about how to support and work together with commissioning parties and partner countries to achieve an inclusive, green and digital transformation that secures wellbeing for all citizens in alignment with environmental and climate goals.

This thematic block discusses   how to deal with the trade-offs between the three dimensions of sustainable development. Our podcast explores new ways on how to manage the transformation of our economies towards a climate-friendly value creation in Europe and our partner countries. 

This thematic block considers how rapid changes and new risks, induced through digitalization, globalization and climate change, are threatening livelihoods and wellbeing at global level, especially for the poor and marginalized population groups. In this context, resilience describes the ability to better deal with changes and risks – “to bounce back” or recover after an external shock has happened while mitigating structural damage. It discusses how to strengthen environmental, social and economic resilience – for example through building reliable social protection systems, “greening” carbon-intensive industries, and protecting natural assets or public goods.

Podcast Episodes

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Today’s episode provides a perspective on Just Transition to ensure that the necessary changes to limit global warming do not result in negative impacts on vulnerable stakeholders and communities.

Alissa Stein, our podcast host, discusses challenges and opportunities with the two interviewees: Esther May (Advisor and Just Transition focal point within Climate Cluster South Africa, GIZ) and Timon Wehnert (Head of Berlin Office and Senior Researcher, Future Energy and Industry Systems, Wuppertal Institute).

This episode explains the circular economy approach which provides a convincing alternative to our harmful linear system of production and consumption. In a circular economy, value is maintained as long as possible, and resources are fed back into value chains. Together with our podcast host, Alissa Stein, Elisaveta Kostova (Manager for the Green Action in Enterprises Project in Jordan, GIZ) and Jules Lennon (Programme Manager Circular Fashion, Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation) discuss the most important aspects of Circular Economy. 

Impressions from the Future Forum 2022

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The Club of Rome has already given a wake-up call to the international community in 1972 by publishing “the limits to growth” by D.H. Meadows. Where do we stand 50 years later? Why is this discussion more relevant than ever? What can be our contribution as international cooperation community? 

In her inspirational talk, Amanda Janoo talks about her experiences working at the Wellbeing Economy Alliance.

In her inspirational talk, Francesca Bria explains which role digitalization can play in order to combine the social, economic and ecological aspects of development.

The goal of the inspirational talks is to inspire about initiatives already challenging the topics. Joanna Herat talks about the role education plays for health and wellbeing and how it can strengthen resilience. 

The devastating effects of climate change, species extinction, and increasing inequality within and between countries are exacerbating ongoing threats to democracies and the integrity of societies worldwide. Common socioeconomic practices and systems need to be fundamentally rethought beyond the doctrine of economic growth. The aim of this event is to discuss how an alternative development cooperation can look like, which deals with alternative models for economic development beyond growth.

Christian Felber, Writer in "Economy for the common good"
Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Trade Collective and Wellbeing Economy Alliance
José Luise Samaniego Leyva, Comisión Económica de las Naciones Unidas para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL)

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