From the report intro:
"Prosperity without growth".
Today we find ourselves faced with the imminent end of the era of cheap oil, the prospect (beyond the recent bubble) of steadily rising commodity prices, the degradation of forests, lakes and soils, conflicts over land use, water quality, fishing rights and the momentous challenge of stabilising concentrations of carbon in the global atmosphere. And we face these tasks with an economy that is fundamentally broken, in desperate need of renewal.
In these circumstances, a return to business as usual is not an option. Prosperity for the few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilised society.
Economic recovery is vital. Protecting people's jobs – and creating new ones – is absolutely essential. But we also stand in urgent need of a renewed sense of shared prosperity. A commitment to fairness and flourishing in a finite world.
Sustainable Development Commission
"Even if we can overcome the immediate crises we face, we will still be left with fundamental questions about the effectiveness of capitalism in tackling such unresolved problems as persistent poverty, lack of access to health care and education, and epidemic diseases. In my view, the theoretical framework of capitalism that is widely accepted today is a half-built structure—one that prevents Adam Smith's "invisible hand" from operating as he believed it should.
In a sense, we have chosen to disregard half of Smith's message. His Wealth of Nations has drawn all the attention while The Theory of Moral Sentiments has been largely ignored. This book could have provided the foundation for the other, missing half of the market — the half of the market that caters to the social consciousness of the people."
- Muhammad Yunus
University of Glasgow