The recent article, Using Well-Being for Public Policy: Theory, Measurement, and Recommendations by Adler and Seligman in the International Journal of Wellbeing (doi:10.5502/ifjw.v6i1.1), the authors suggest we should reject GDP to get wellbeing. The article discusses measures such as the Bhutan General Happiness index, in use since 1992.
If you are interested in learning more, watch Ushering Tobago’s TED Talk about Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index. As discussed in the Adler/Seligman article, being ecological has a strong impact on wellbeing. The TED talk in this post discusses how Bhutan has taken an ecological stand by being not just a carbon neutral but a carbon negative country and then explains how this approach was the natural outcome using the GNH to guide national policy. In support of the Adler/Seligman finding, Tobago explains how the carbon policy followed contributes to happiness.
This is an example that demonstrates how everything is connected and also suggests we do not have to give up GDP if we change how we make things. In Cradle to Cradle and Upcycle, McDonough and Braungart explain how to make things so they are not scrap but better after use. I describe the concepts of McDonough & Braggart and more in the posts Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad and Capacity Enables Creativity and Crisis Mitigation,
The presentation below also suggests we all want to be a part of something good that is greater than ourselves. Bhutan’s efforts suggest by taking action to increase happiness, you can also help others and this connects us to something more than ourselves. It is possible to have both: healthy food and good taste, happiness and carbon negative, fulfillment and ecologically sound, profitable and environmentally sound, the list goes on. This post builds on on the ideas I described in “We Can Have Both“. Make it a great week.