Can human happiness be a basis for policy-making? In the 1970s, Bhutan based its public policy on the concept of ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH). Instead of economic goals championed by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the aim of GNH is to contribute to public policies that directly affect the well-being of citizens.
Since the early 2000s, global discussions on ‘beyond GDP’ policies have sought to include happiness as an alternate criteria for policy-making.
On Bhutan’s initiative, the UN adopted a resolution recognising the human aspiration to happiness. The UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network reports on world happiness levels. The 2015 World Happiness Report ranks Switzerland, Iceland and Denmark as the three happiest countries in the world. But ‘beyond GDP’ policies are also questioned. Can governments legitimately decide what happiness is? Can public policy really increase well-being? Does a focus on happiness distract governments from more important policy objectives?
Join our discussion with:
- Marie Louise Dornoy, Research & Communications, The Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Jasper Bergink, Editor and Happiness Researcher, For a State of Happiness
Please note that you will be asked to provide ID details upon registration. Participants will need to provide photo ID to gain entry to the event.
Rue Washington 27
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