05w40:1 Happy World

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 40 number 1 (happy world)


A New Measure of Well-Being From a Happy Little Kingdom | Andrew C. Revkin
“The gross domestic product, or G.D.P., is routinely used as shorthand for the well-being of a nation. But the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has been trying out a different idea. In 1972, concerned about the problems afflicting other developing countries that focused only on economic growth, Bhutan’s newly crowned leader, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, decided to make his nation’s priority not its G.D.P. but its G.N.H., or gross national happiness. […] [Recently] about 400 people from more than a dozen countries … gathered … to consider new ways to define and assess prosperity. The meeting, held at St. Francis Xavier University in northern Nova Scotia, was a mix of soft ideals and hard-nosed number crunching. Many participants insisted that the focus on commerce and consumption that dominated the 20th century need not be the norm in the 21st century. Among the attendees were three dozen representatives from Bhutan. […] In Canada, Hans Messinger, the director of industry measures and analysis for Statistics Canada, has been working informally with about 20 other economists and social scientists to develop that country’s first national index of well-being. […] Later this year, the Canadian group plans to release a first attempt at an index – an assessment of community health, living standards and people’s division of time among work, family, voluntarism and other activities. Over the next several years, the team plans to integrate those findings with measurements of education, environmental quality, ‘community vitality’ and the responsiveness of government. Similar initiatives are under way in Australia and New Zealand.”

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emailed by Timothy on Wednesday 05 October 2005 @ 2:05 PM

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