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Measuring progress

Is economic progress a suitable measure for how well a country is doing? For example, could a society be flourishing financially though not doing so well in other areas such as mental well-being or social relationships? Are there other ways for countries to measure progress?

An article from the Carnegie Council?s online magazine reports on the fourth international conference on Gross National Happiness held in Bhutan.  The conference brought together people and organisations from 25 countries to discuss alternatives to GDP.

Various perspectives and approaches were presented including Bhutan?s own Gross National Happiness approach and the European Happy Planet Index.  The aim of the conference was to continue to discuss and debate about ways to bridge the gap between traditional economic growth and new ways of measuring progress.  The results are promising though there remains a debate as to whether the profound change needed within society should begin on the ground or whether it should be driven from the top.  Whatever the conclusion it is clear that monetary success does not equal well-being and that the materialistic consumerist values of the west need to change in order for true progress to be made. To read the article click here


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