Saturday, March 04, 2017

6 Big Ideas from the WGS #1) Governments need to take the happiness of their people more seriously


Yesterday I wrote about the diagnosis and prognosis from the World Government Summit held last month in Dubai, UAE.

In short :-
Diagnosis - The patient is sick and business as usual will not be the cure.”

Prognosis - Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring us intelligent robots, self-driving cars and 3D printing - massive opportunities but also huge challenges and threats.

Despite this the mood at the  WGS did not feel pessimistic. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, captured the mood well when he quoted Jean Monnet, one of the fathers of the European Union   “I’m not optimistic, I am not pessimistic, I am just determined.”

So what is the remedy? Here are the 6 big ideas I took from the WGS

1)    Governments need to take the happiness of their people more seriously

“Happiness is important so why don’t  governments  take it seriously. Why not  make happiness  a public goo1)    Governments need to take the happiness of their people more seriously

As Prime Minister of  Bhutan,  the first country to measure the  prosperity by its citizens using Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product,   Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay came across a wise leader and one  well worth listening to.

Gross National Happiness has nine domains, shown below, these being psychological well-being and  education as well as living standards, community vitality, ecological vitality, good governance, time use and cultural  diversity.



In Bhutan the government ensures that all policies are happiness friendly by running them through a happiness screening tool. If a policy is likely to be detrimental to a country’s happiness, it is rejected.

Why don’t other countries adopt Gross National Happiness and make its improvement a key policy objective?

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