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Highlights and useful resources from “The Economics of Biodiversity”

In May 2023, Misum together with the Beijer Institute and the British Embassy hosted a high-level event at the Stockholm School of Economics on recent developments in integrating biodiversity into business education and economic thinking.

Two years after the publication of the highly influential “Dasgupta Review” at the commission of the UK Treasury, Misum welcomed Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, the lead author of the report, for a conversation fittingly set in a leading school of business and economics. Close to 200 guests gathered in the auditorium of the Stockholm School of Economics on May 2.

If you missed the event or would like to revisit the conversations, find below some key ideas from Prof. Dasgupta’s keynote, then read through a full summary with reading material and photos from the event.

Keynote address by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge:

  • Global GDP growth has been accelerating since the 1950s. Challenging what we include and what we don’t include in GDP, Prof. Dasgupta noted that the depreciation of capital and biodiversity are excluded and indeed that GDP could be growing even as nature is being degraded. 
  • Nature supplies us with a “bewildering variety of services”, what we commonly refer to as ecosystem services. When we think about nature we often think about the provisioning goods, but to see the economy as embedded in nature we need to consider our dependence on regulating and maintaining services as well. 
  • Prof. Dasgupta concluded the event with a call for a radical change in the way we teach economics, to challenge the assumption that the economy is not subject to the limits of the biosphere, and to recognize the embeddedness of the economy in nature. At SSE, the Dasgupta Review is mandatory reading for the Global Challenges track taken by BSc Business and Economics students. 

The keynote was followed by a short presentation by Charlotta Sörqvist, Swedish chief negotiator for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), on the new Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and a panel discussion moderated by Dr Mia Horn af Rantzien with:

  • Prof. Carl Folke, Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Prof. Marie Stenseke, Professor in Human Geography, Deputy Dean at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg
  • Prof. Bård Harstad, Professor in Economics, University of Oslo
  • Åsa Mossberg, Senior Sustainability Strategist, AP2

Read more about the discussions at the event and browse through event photos.