Sustainable Prosperity

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 faces competing social, economic, and ecological crises. 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?
Related Publications

State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity

April 2012 

Creating Sustainable Prosperity in the United States: The Need for Innovation and Leadership 

Report #186 | September 2011

State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures

January 2010


About Sustainable Prosperity

To promote discussion around the vital topic of sustainable and equitable development at the Rio+20 U.N. Conference and beyond, the Worldwatch Institute’s 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.

Sustainable Prosperity further expands on the report with additional case studies, news updates, a discussion guide, videos, and many additional resources to help you move your community toward sustainable prosperity.


Recent Sustainable Prosperity Blogs










Offering Thanks at the End of 2012


Growing City Populations Face Unique Challenges

The world’s urban population is expected to grow to 6.3 billion by 2050, putting even more pressure on its cities.

Fixing America's Future

Does a community-based economy offer a way to build sustainable prosperity in America?

Living Enterprise as the Foundation of a Generative Economy 

"What kind of economy is consistent with living inside a living Earth?"

Syria's Drought and Climate Upheaval

Environmental and resource pressures, including climate change, could become an important driver of displacement and conflict in the future.

"Voices from Rio: Colin Hughes on Sustainable Transport"
Michael Renner Presents "Making the Green Economy Work for Everybody"
Erik Assadourian Presents "The Path to Degrowth in Overdeveloped Countries"