Factivist is exhibiting at the Earth Day Conference in Madison Wisconsin. One of the themes of the conference is ‘Happiness’. Upon reflection, we thought it might be wise to reprise a post from the Good for Business Blog from late last summer. The post addresses the idea of a Happiness Index and refers to a Happiness Index concept presented at a conference in Edinburgh in 2007. We think it’s worth another look, so please oblige us this repost from our allies at Good for Business.
On August 18 BBC website had a link titled ‘Is the end of the world as we know it’ which prompted me to click and come upon an article titled ‘Is the world facing fundamental changes?’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14583201
Well, it woke this sleepy blog up. Having not posted for a while, the idea of the world coming to an end as reported by BBC had me a bit rattled. Of course, the article was primarily addressing the financial markets and models we have created and how they may need to be fixed or reinvented or discarded. But it also brought to mind issues that we seem to sweep underneath the economic dominated headlines of the day – issues ranging from the planet’s population and pollution to melting ice caps and ironically, water shortages. Of course, all of this is interconnected – stock markets, debt and derivatives sleep in the same room as poverty, vanishing rain forests and human rights.
This consideration of a such a potentially gloomy future caused me to reflect on the past – actually, 2007, when I presented at a conference in Edinburgh the idea of global happiness indexes – one for humanity in general and another for business. I think it might be of value to revisit this idea amidst this moment in time when change is definitely in the air.
Inspired at the time by the Bhutan Happiness Index, I thought why not take that idea and embrace the entire world with it. Imagine a positive vision of what the world could be like in the year 2020 and the steps and actions we can all take to make that vision real. Imagine in 2020 we live in world of clean oceans, lakes and rivers and clean air and skies. A world of open spaces for growing, playing, learning and reflecting; of locally grown foods nourishing whole communities of engaged citizens; of renewable energy powering a sustainable, meaningful economy; of excellent health care for all and excellent schools educating all to realize our inviolable connection to nature and to one another; of manifesting a quality of life not measured by what we have or own, but who we are: loving, respecting, relating, contributing, creating and happy.
What if you could live this vision physically and digitally, where a portal lets you discover and share what other countries, communities and citizens are doing in the areas of sustainable economies; education; air and water; healthcare; social justice and peace and understanding.
And for business, what if it could change the world for good? What if balance sheets see workforce and people as an asset, not a liability; if new products and services are developed to make a sustainable, positive difference; if economic engines are driven by a reverence for the natural world order as business improves the environment;if business works with communities to genuinely enhance real quality of life; if everything business does and say is true and transparent and books and boardrooms are open; if profit is the fuel for positive change and business is one of the most respected institutions the world?
What if you could live and work this vision physically and digitally and employ a portal where CEO’s, clerks and customers can all share and discover answers and ideas addressing topics including purpose with profit; ecological economics; meaningful innovation; workforce wealth; community championing and truth and transparency?
We can do this. We’ve done remarkable things before. What’s stopping us now – only ourselves and our weakened belief in the human spirit. We can shift from a doomsday view propelled by fear to a vision that is driven by an unconditional love for what matters most.
Take a look at these words and graphics from 2007 and let me know your suggestions for how we can update this concept for today. The visuals are set up to be digital doors to learning and taking action.
There is an overall statement that allows one to click to a specific topic and then, ideally go deeper and deeper into understanding that leads to answers and solutions. As mentioned earlier, one set of graphics is humanity in general focused, the other set business focused.
Is everybody happy? Why not?
Tags: Bhutan, BSR, Clean Air, Clean water, Climate Change, Compassion, Earth Day, economic democracy, education, Happiness, Happiness Index, Healthcare for All, Human Rights, humanity, Nelson Institute, SAGE, social responsibility, Sustainability