Global science and commerce in manufactured capital have created global problems requiring global solutions. Fragmented and incommensurable ESG rating systems are inherently insufficient to the task. Only global science and commerce in human, social, and natural capital will provide the tools and methods humanity needs to think global and act local, and to together solve the urgent problems we face. For an application of the analytic methods needed for locally meaningful and applicable global metrology to the Carbon Disclosure Project data, see Fisher, et al. (2021, 2023). For more info on measurement science, see the other references listed below. For perspectives on the legal, market, and communications capabilities that must complement and coevolve with the measurement science, see Fisher (2012, 2020a, 2021, 2023).
Fisher, W. P., Jr. (2012). What the world needs now: A bold plan for new standards. Standards Engineering, 64, 1-5.
Fisher, W. P., Jr. (2020a). Contextualizing sustainable development metric standards: Imagining new entrepreneurial possibilities. Sustainability, 12(9661), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229661
Fisher, W. P., Jr. (2020b). Measuring genuine progress: An example from the UN Millennium Development Goals project. Journal of Applied Measurement, 21(1), 110-133.
Fisher, W. P., Jr. (2021). Bateson and Wright on number and quantity: How to not separate thinking from its relational context. Symmetry, 13(1415). https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13081415
Fisher, W. P., Jr. (2023). Measurement systems, brilliant results, and brilliant processes in healthcare: Untapped potentials of person-centered outcome metrology for cultivating trust. In W. P. Fisher, Jr. & S. Cano (Eds.), Person-centered outcome metrology: Principles and applications for high stakes decision making (pp. 357-396). Springer. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-07465-3
Fisher, W. P., Jr., & Cano, S. (Eds.). (2023). Person-centered outcome metrology: Principles and applications for high stakes decision making. Springer. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-07465-3
Fisher, W. P., J. Melin, C. Möller. (2021). Metrology for climate-neutral cities (RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB No. RISE Report 2021:84). Gothenburg, Sweden: RISE. http://ri.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1616048&dswid=-7140 (79 pp.)
Fisher, W. P., Jr., Melin, J., & Möller, C. (2023). A preliminary report on metrology for climate-neutral cities. Acta IMEKO, in press.
Fisher, W. P., Jr., Pendrill, L., Lips da Cruz, A., & Felin, A. (2019). Why metrology? Fair dealing and efficient markets for the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1379(012023) doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1379/1/012023
Madhala, T., & Fisher, W. P., Jr. (2023). Clothing, textile, and fashion industry sustainable impact measurement and management. Acta IMEKO, in press.
Mari, L., & Wilson, M. (2014, May). An introduction to the Rasch measurement approach for metrologists. Measurement, 51, 315-327.
Mari, L., Wilson, M., & Maul, A. (2023). Measurement across the sciences, 2nd ed. Springer.
Pendrill, L. (2019). Quality assured measurement: Unification across social and physical sciences. Cham: Springer.
Pendrill, L., & Fisher, W. P., Jr. (2015). Counting and quantification: Comparing psychometric and metrological perspectives on visual perceptions of number. Measurement, 71, 46-55.
Sustainability Metrics Capable of Bringing Human, Social, and Natural Capital to Life in a New Economy
Instead of focusing as hardnosed realists on shouldering the burden of the costs of carbon and sea levels, of relieving human suffering, and of countering social discontent, should not we focus creative efforts on how to make sustainability innovations profitable? Even better, why not aim for a truly hopeful scenario in which joy for life and desire for beauty and meaning inspire ecologically sound personal, social, and economic relationships?
I think sustainability and transformative consciousness can and will be embedded in the knowledge infrastructures of our governance, market, educational, health care, social services, and environmental management institutions' rules, roles, and responsibilities. But these goals will likely not be achieved until we realize the challenges we face are joyful opportunities to show our stuff, and to playfully excel for fun and profits defined as much in terms of quality of life as they are defined financially.
How might this be true? By measuring sustainable human, social, and environmental outcomes well enough to buy and sell them in efficient, low transaction cost, mass markets on global scales. Only then will we be able to reward the creation of socially responsible value in the same way we reward innovative creativity in manufactured value. Only then will we all be able to pull together globally toward common goals at the same time we custom-tailor personalized applications, doing so by means of virally communicable market signals. Living Capital Metrics is working in this direction, building on the long-established interdependency of science and commerce.
The whole point of developing metrics for human, social, and natural capital is to manage sustainability. But sustainability is left fundamentally unmanageable if no mechanisms are provided for business managers to operationalize the metrics efficiently and meaningfully within their work flows, if no mechanisms are provided for investors to reward value creation in an efficient market with low transaction costs, if there are no accounting standards and economic models for pricing intangible assets, and, most importantly, if individual citizens are cut out of the process and treated as voiceless commodity pawns because they have no ownership of their own shares in their personal stocks of human, social, and natural capital.
Scientifically sound work in this area has been published in thousands of peer-reviewed books and journals, and presented at measurement conferences globally, over the last 60 years. Over the last 15 years international meetings of national metrology institutes and tech firms heavily invested in measurement science, sensors, and production research have become involved, with hundreds of publications having been produced. Sustainability and climate change activists should be enthusiastically supporting work in this area on the development of new metric standards for environmental management, education, health care, and social services.
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