The Economics of Happiness

Do you imagine economy serving people instead of people serving the economy?

In partnership with Local Futures, Global Hub for the Common Good and Initiatives of Change UK Held on 14 September, the full day event put forward a fresh perspective on the benefits of nations shifting towards economic decentralisation and adopting a more localised approach to trade.

Participants heard from Helena Norberg-Hodge who presented her film ‘Economics of Happiness’, Lawrence Bloom discussed ‘are we in the middle of a second renaissance’, Stephen Hinton advocated for ushering in a culture of peace and happiness and Diego Isabel La Moneda ended the day with a translating talk into action session that looked at how we can co-create a vision for a new economy.

The event started with an introduction by Mike Smith, Initiatives of Change, who argued that economy should serve people and contribute to people happiness and the common good.

From that point on, Helena Norberg-Hodge emphasised the importance of rethinking global trade and shifting from globalisation, mastered by multinational corporations, towards localisation where people are able to be the masters of their lives.

Stephen Hinton brought the experience of the Transition Towns network, a social movement of practitioners who live the “going local” values in more than 60 countries. Lawrence Bloom, who was Chairman of the UN Environmental Programme and other relevant international institutions, talked about his experience the InterContinental Hotels Group and explained how corporations can be drivers of positive change when a social purpose leads the organisation.

Finally, Diego Isabel La Moneda, funder of the Global Hub for the Common Good and Director of the Global Forum NESI, “New Economy and Social Innovation”, talked about the power of collaboration among people and organisations that are working to co-create a new and better economy.

The event ended with a workshop where participants answered both individually and collectively to the questions “what should be the goal of the economy?” and “what values should drive the economy?”

Their answers will contribute to co-create a “Manifesto for a New Economy” which will be presented in the Global Forum NESI in April 2017.