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WDSI 2018 Global Launch Event


Borne of the precepts of Wang Dao and reflecting new universal values in sustainable development across nations, the Wang Dao Sustainability Index (WDSI) was unveiled at its global announcement event on December 16, 2018 at the Liang Kuo Shu International Conference Hall. Dr. Chao-shiuan Liu, chairman at the Foundation of Chinese Culture for Sustainable Development (FCCSD) and WDSI project manager, along with Dr. Yun-han Chu, academician at the Academia Sinica and WDSI research leader, welcomed esteemed researchers and renowned guests, including former President of the R.O.C. Mr. Ying-jeou Ma, former Premier of the Executive Yuan Mr. Chi-kuo Mao, Founder of the Delta Group Mr. Bruce Cheng, and former President of National Tsing Hua University, Chung Laung Liu, in open exchange. 


As WDSI project manager Dr. Chao-shiuan Liu points out, sustainable development must find its roots in cultural foundations. Among the five elements represented by the Wang Dao precept, "benevolent governance" and "empathy" are the 2 core elements, which combined with the element of "counter-hegemony" creates the first domain of "Global Ethics"; “benevolent governance” and “empathy”, when combined with “people-orientedness” creates the second domain of "Inclusive Development"; “benevolent governance” and “empathy”, plus the “sustainability”, creates the third domain of “Environmental Equilibrium”. 


WDSI research leader Dr. Yun-han Chu states in his introduction that "although Taiwan ranks immediately below the United States on the WDSI, we see great opportunities in areas such as ecologically sustainable development practices, carbon emissions, nuclear waste disposal and related environmental initiatives."


Former President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Academia Sinica academician Ambrose Yeo-Chi King considers the WDSI “an ambitious, positive pointer with the potential to induce tangible changes.”


Director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Yung-nien Zheng, notes that “Wang Dao encompasses Pre-Qin schools of thought in Chinese culture, inclusive of the Confucian school but also others. For example, the Taoist conception of being ‘at one with heaven’ (literally ‘Heaven-Man-be-One’) relates to environmental sustainability, and Legalism addresses rule of law and economic development."


Academia Sinica academician Chao-Han Liu, who has directed various programs in sustainability sciences and research at Academia Sinica, offers that “nations run in accordance with the principles of Wang Dao have proven longevity and stability in governance, and this is true of the East as it is of the West. The formulation of the WDSI will aid in the adoption of these principles, shaping it into a new set of universal values.”


The Wang Dao Sustainability Index project began as a response to the global refugee situation escalating in 2010, as helpless faces searching for a path forward, and their next meal, challenge our very sense of empathy and question our preconceptions towards basic conditions of human survival. Faced with the impasse brought upon by climate change and war disputes, project manager Dr. Chao-shiuan Liu believes that Chinese culture, specifically Wang Dao, can offer new thinking to rise amid the chaos, and help forge justice and value systems that spans epochs. Dr. Chao-shiuan Liu, project manager, and Dr. Yun-han Chu, research leader, conduct a team of scholars to develop the WDSI, including Professor Yeh Shin-cheng of National Taiwan Normal University, and Associate Professors Hans Hanpu Tung and Jason M. Kuo from National Taiwan University.