The world economic and social survey (WESS) provides analysis of pressing long-term social and economic development issues and discusses the positive and negative impact of corresponding policies. Even though enormous improvements in human welfare have taken place over the past two centuries, these have been unevenly distributed and have come at a lasting cost of environmental degradation. At the same time, we cannot stop the engines of growth, because economic progress is still needed in order for people in developing countries to have a decent standard of living. The 2011 edition of WESS calls for a complete transformation of technology on which human economic activity is based. The survey details new policy directions and major investments in developing and scaling up clean energy technologies, sustainable farming and forestry techniques, climate proofing of infrastructure and reducing non-biodegradable waste production.