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The kingdom of Bhutan is honoured to offer this report as a contribution to the growing global conversation on a transformative post-2015 development agenda. The report is inspired by Bhutan’s development approach based on the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and proposes a New Development Paradigm with societal happiness as its guiding vision. Such a holistic view of development has the potential to transform humanity’s relationship with nature, restructure our economies, change our attitudes to food and wealth, and promote caring, altruism, inclusiveness and cooperation. In the new paradigm, genuine happiness is understood to arise from a deep abiding sense of harmony with the natural world, of compassion, contentment and joy. It also acknowledges that basic needs like clean air and water, good health, decent living conditions, knowledge, peace, security and justice, meaningful relationships and other dimensions of wellbeing are essential preconditions for human beings to flourish and achieve true happiness. The new development framework presented is not intended to be dogmatic or static. Rather, Bhutan wished to contribute to the search for a genuinely different paradigm – a process that will require exploration of unorthodox approaches that challenge the fundamentals of the current paradigm in search of a better way to live and flourish on our planet. This new paradigm is envisioned to emerge and evolve through a dynamic process of global conversation, participation and constant feedback.
This publication presents the discussions during the UNESCO Future Lecture on the theme “Towards a Sufficiency Economy: A new Ethical Paradigm for Sustainability held on 11 June 2012.
The Forbidden Education (Spanish: La Educación Prohibida) is an independent documentary released in 2012. The film documents diverse alternative education practices and unconventional schools in Latin America and Spain and includes educational approaches such as popular education, Montessori, progressive education, Waldorf, homeschooling.
Conventional development thinking emphasises economic growth over human wellbeing and ignores care as a public good that sustains and reproduces society and on which markets depend for their functioning. Our alternative is an economic system that reflects and places a value on equitable relations between women and men. We challenge commonly held assumptions about how the economy works – assumptions that in this time of global crisis risk bringing greater misery and impoverishment for those who can least protect themselves from collapsing markets. We propose development policies and programmes that can immediately start to address the interconnected concerns of women as producers, employees and carers with positive effect for individual, family and social wellbeing. In addition, philanthropic foundations – with their track record of facilitating new an challenging ideas – can facilitate the world’s most important debate about shaping an economy for people rather than people for the economy.
The planetary phase of history has begun, but its ultimate shape is profoundly uncertain. Will global development veer toward a world of impoverished people, cultures and nature? Or will there be a Great Transition toward a future of enriched lives, human solidarity and environmental sustainability? These questions are addressed in the path-breaking essay Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. Paul Raskin, Tellus President, is lead author of this examination of the possibilities for a sustainable and desirable world. The essay describes the historic roots, current dynamics, future perils, and alternative pathways for world development. It advances one of these paths, Great Transition, as the preferred route, identifying strategies, agents of change, and values for a new global agenda. The essay's appraisal of the current global crossroads is disquieting. Conventional development is perilous, while the reform path to a sustainable future is problematic and uncertain. Yet, it shows that a fundamental change of direction is still possible. Progressive elements of civil society, government, international organizations, and business can forge a new sustainability paradigm, an alternative vision of globalization centered on the quality of life, human solidarity, environmental resilience, and an informed and engaged citizenry.
This paper is part of a broad effort to elaborate an inspiring and rigorous global visión for the future, and to identify a path forward. The paper has three major sections. The background section highlights data and findings relevant to the pursuit of well-being. The vision section describes a world in which successful pursuit of well-being in the norm. Finally, the pathways section articulates a multi-part strategy to foster interest in time affluence and to support its pursuit.
This paper is a call for better indicators of human well-being in nations around the world. We critique the inappropriate use of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of national well-being, something for which it was never designed. We also question the idea that economic growth is always synonymous with improved well-being. Useful measures of progress and well-being must be measures of the degree to which society’s goals (i.e., to sustainably provide basic human needs for food, shelter, freedom, participation, etc.) are met, rather than measures of the mere volume of marketed economic activity, which is only one means to that end. Various alternatives and complements to GDP are discussed in terms of their motives, objectives, and limitations. Some of these are revised measures of economic activity while others measure changes in community capital—natural, social, human, and built—in an attempt to measure the extent to which development is using up the principle of community capital rather than living off its interest. We conclude that much useful work has been done; many of the alternative indicators have been used successfully in various levels of community planning. But the continued misuse of GDP as a measure of well-being necessitates an immediate, aggressive, and ongoing campaign to change the indicators that decision makers are using to guide policies and evaluate progress. We need indicators that promote truly sustainable development—development that improves the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the supporting ecosystems. We end with a call for consensus on appropriate new measures of progress toward this new social goal.
Words from the Edge is a film about the unprecedented transition that we are undergoing from a culture of industrial growth and inequality to what must inevitably be more localised, sustainable, living economies. It’s a film about what this shift involves, and what we need to do to get there. Following five ‘ordinary people’ as they look to an uncertain future and explore the steps they can take to face it…Their stories are interwoven with interviews with leaders and pioneers in the field of resilience-building. Interviews with: Rob Hopkins, Vandana Shiva, Richard Heinberg, Naomi Klein,Stephan Harding,Patrick Holden,Giorgos Kallis,Rhamis Kent, Nicole Foss.
Several visions about the new development paradigm by Jacqueline McGlade, Eric Zencey, Ashok Khosla, Frances Moore-Lappé, David Suzuki, Manfred Max-Neef, Tashi Choden, John de Graaf and Kristin Vala.
On 2nd April 2012 The Royal Government of Bhutan convened a “High Level Meeting on Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The meeting focused on elaborating a new global wellbeing and sustainability-based economic paradigm to replace a system that is in rapid decline worldwide. This is the Summary sent to all the countries.