Mitigating the Davos dilemma: towards a global self-sustainability index

Ouarda Dsouli, Nadeem Khan, Nada K Kakabadse, Antonis Skouloudis

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The ‘Davos dilemma’ posits a sustainability crisis, provoked by rising human population and intense competitive behaviours, in terms of control and access to depleting natural resources. More broadly understood as an ecological problem, rather than just socio-economic behavioural deficiencies, the call is for better integrated social, natural and business-indexed reporting within planetary boundaries. This poses challenges for nationally governed societies to equitably account for self-sustainability performance, in enabling their successive government agendas to re-orientate policies and industry investments as innovation towards achieving this in the longer term. We propose and test a global self-sustainability index for countries across four metrics: economic, environmental, social and innovation. Our tentative findings from a cross-country analysis of 27 countries during 2007–2010 illustrate the approach for wider systematic analysis and as a basis for future large-scale assessments on self-sustainability within and between countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-98
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology
Issue number1
Early online date2 Feb 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2017


  • Davos dilemma
  • economic-
  • environmental-
  • social-performance
  • innovation
  • global self-sustainability index


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