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17 April 2024
Palais des Nations
Europe/Zurich timezone


It is by now well understood that today’s financial and economic systems are not fit-for-purpose to address the triple planetary crisis and ensure a sustainable future for all. Our current system is biased towards prioritizing short-term profit over the long-term wellbeing of people and planet.

As we head into the UNs Summit of the Future, one of the key structural challenges that needs to be addressed to advance the SDGs is the development of a universal and comprehensive measurement of progress on sustainable development to complement Gross Domestic Progress (GDP). It is key that young people have a voice in the development of a framework to complement GDP, a framework that will have implications on their futures and wellbeing. 

To this end, the SDG Lab is organizing an intergenerational discussion on “What Counts in the future?” in collaboration with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the international student movement, Rethinking Economics. The objective is to infuse the discussion on how we move Beyond GDP with a diverse range of youth perspectives and expertise, to provide input for Member States as they negotiate the Pact for the Future.

The dialogue is the continuation of discussion at the event “Rethinking Economic Systems for Long-term Sustainable Development”, which took place in October 2023 as part of the SDG Lab`s What`s Next series. The session brought together several influential organizations and stakeholders to reflect on the way forward to ensure that the economy creates value for local communities and countries today and in the future. The discussion made it clear that we need a mindset change and political courage to make use of the momentum to move beyond GDP.

To generate insights from young people, an essay competition was launched in advance of the dialogue on 17 April. Over 630 young people from more than 50 countries submitted their response to the question: What values and principles would you like to see in a Framework to Value What Counts beyond GDP and what are the challenges to be addressed as a priority?  


At this interactive in-person meeting the five winners of the global essay contest will share their perspectives on the values and principles that should be included in a framework to move beyond GDP. Furthermore, the meeting will invite leaders from both the public and private sphere, including senior UN officials and Member States and other international organizations, to reflect and engage with the young speakers.

Speakers include:

  • Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
  • Mr. Pedro Manuel Moreno, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • H.E. Ms. Eunice M. Tembo Luambia, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Zambia to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
  • Mr. Jean-Luc Bernasconi, Chief of Staff, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Member of the Directorate at SDC
  • Mr. Laurence Jones-Williams, Director of Rethinking Economics International
  • Ms. Özge Aydogan, Director of the SDG Lab, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
  • The five winners of the global essay competition on Moving Beyond GDP:
    • Ms. Paula Borges (Brazil)
    • Ms. Rose Holm (Denmark)
    • Ms. Kaydence Drayak (United Kingdom)
    • Ms. Julianna Makonise (Zimbabwe)
    • Ms. Aymen Ahmad (Pakistan)


For people interested in attending this event, in-person, please kindly register using this form. 

Please RSVP by 15 April at the latest.

A link to livestreaming via UN YouTube will be provided on the day of the event on this registration page. 


Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
E/1-27 - E-1-27 - Room XXVII
Registration for this event is currently open.