Monday, April 2, 2012

GNH - Gross National Happiness

National Pursuit of Happiness Day - April 13, 2012
The birth date of Thomas Jefferson - April 13, 1743

Because we have "certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

The United States Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
Thomas Jefferson, principle author  

What is GNH:

Bhutan's fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, coined the phrase GNH in 1972 on the belief that people's happiness did not depend on the nation's economic wealth alone. Many of the GNH indicators find their roots in Buddhism. Psychological well-being, for example, includes measures of meditation, prayer, nonviolence, and reincarnation.

GNH nine components of happiness: 
psychological well-being
living standards
time use
community vitality
good governance

What is GNH video

GNH Quotes

“We should take seriously the idea of measuring our gross national happiness, because it brings us back to our founding ideals. It makes us ask: Are we improving as a nation in protecting and exercising our right to pursue happiness? What can we – what should we do differently? If we’re serious about pursuing happiness, what should we as citizens demand of our leaders, present and future?”
Arthur C. Brooks, Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America and How We Can Get More of It

“The overwhelming majority of our people seek a greater opportunity for humanity to prosper and find happiness. They recognise that human welfare has not increased and does not increase through mere materialism and luxury, but that it does progress through integrity, unselfishness, responsibility and justice …”.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934 State of the Union address

“There is a tremendous yearning in people’s hearts for an integrated solution to problems and GNH shows a systematic approach to all of them. People want to work together towards that. … More and more people in the world are material-oriented but there is also a yearning of the human soul beyond material possession, that’s why GNH has touched so many hearts. Will Brazil follow USA where Gross National Product increased three times in the past 50 years but people are less happy? Where community vitality has been extremely degraded, the number of people who don’t visit neighbours increased by four times, violence tripled, one in every 100 people jailed and one in every four people unhappy or depressed? Now is the time for Brazil to follow a new formula and GNH offers the most complete set of indicators for true progress.”
Psychologist and educator Dr. Susan Andrews, founder of Future Vision Ecological Park and coordinator of GNH in Brazil, November 25, 2008

“The legacy of this crisis will be a worldwide battle over ideas – over what kind of economic system is likely to deliver the greatest benefit to the most people.”
Joseph Stiglitz, coined G-192, chaired group of experts that prepared General Assembly of the UN on the economic crisis in June 2009

“For 60 years gross domestic product, or GDP for short, has been the yardstick by which the world has measured and understood economic and social progress. However, it has failed to capture some of the factors that make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their happiness, such as security, leisure, income distribution and a clean environment–including the kinds of factors which growth itself needs to be sustainable. … We have known for years that human economic activity exhausts our natural resources and damages our fragile environment, yet economists and governments have been slow to incorporate them into their measurements. …What we measure affects what we do. We will never have perfect measures—and we need different measures for different purposes. But our work so far has shown that there is considerable room for improvement in our measures. There are reforms that can be instituted immediately; others will require more research. … Producing better, truer, ways of measuring economic, environmental and social performance, is a critical step in making progress towards building a better world.”
Joseph Stiglitz, renowned professor, author and the 2001 Nobel laureate in economics, from his article “Progress, What Progress?” in the March 2009 Observer. Stiglitz also chairs the “Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress” launched in 2008 by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The commission includes four other Nobel laureates, with Kenneth Arrow, James Heckman and Daniel Kahneman as members and Amartya Sen as advisor.

Economics of Happiness 2011 Trailer

More at:
United Nations General Assembly Resolution supporting Happiness Measures

Well Being & Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm

Gross National Happiness USA

Pursuit of Happiness Day Walk & Talk Poster

Pursuit of Happiness Walk August 25 - September 28, 2012

World Happiness Report (pdf)

Better Life Index OECD

United Nations Development Programs UNDP

UNDP International Human Development Reports - Indices & Data

The Earth Institute

The Happiest Countries Are in Northern Europe

The Happiest Countries In the World

The Happiest Countries In the World List

GNH - Gross National Happiness Documentary

The Economics of Happiness Film

The Economics of Happiness (film review)

Wikipedia on GNH

Wikipedia on Happiness Economics

GNH on Facebook

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