Happiness as indicator of new economic paradigm

Happiness as indicator of new economic paradigm

Bhutan invites Blue Economy to help design the economic concept 
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Jeffrey Sachs (links) , Anne Kathrin Kuhlemann, Enrico Gionvannini

UNO Conference discusses about Happiness as indicator of new economic paradigm

Bhutan invites Blue Economy to help design the economic concept

On April 2, 2012 a conference was held in the premises of the United Nations in New York titled “Happiness and Wellbeing: Defining a new Economic Paradigm“. More than 600 participants from all over the world followed Bhutan’s invitation, among them scientists, politicians and civil society. All of them were welcomed by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.

Nobel laureate Prof. Joseph Stiglitz said: “GDP has failed to capture the factors that make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their happiness (security, leisure, income distribution and a clean environment.“ Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, economic advisor of the Secretary General of the United Nations and author of the Millennium Development Goals, presented his new “World Happiness Report“: ( Sachs claims that happiness cannot be achieved by economic welfare alone as measured by Gross Domestic Product. 

Jigmy Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan, pointed out that the GDP-lead development model that compels boundless growth on a planet with limited resources no longer makes economic sense.” Urged by Bhutan, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 65/309 already in July 2011, which supports a holistic approach to development so nations can achieve higher levels of happiness and wellbeing among their people.

Representatives of the Blue Economy were asked to elaborate the economic mechanisms of this new paradigm in cooperation with other experts. Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann reminded participants to consider resource efficiency and resource effectiveness as a basis for new business models: “Innovative, prosperous technologies have to be both supported as well as required in order to encourage the business world to adopt this new paradigm.”

As representative of ZERI, Markus Haastert highlighted the importance of education: “The next generation has to master systemic thinking. People that understand how the world is interconnected will act in a responsible way and design future business models in a completely new manner.”

The conference was assisted by high-ranking representatives of the UN, politicians like the president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, as well as numerous delegates from Brazil, Morocco, Finland, Australia, Thailand, Japan and other countries – a total of 68 nations have signalled to Bhutan that they support this initiative.

As a result of the conference, a report will be issued to the Secretary General of the United Nations. The proposals will also be part of the Rio+20 process in June this year and are supposed to lead to concrete mechanisms which will replace the Millennium Development Goals from 2015 on.

Blue Economy: Economic Paradigm for a Sustainable Future

Bhutan News

This special report will provide you an insight into this exciting six-day event, and inform you about the most recent developments in Bhutan.
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The participants were especially impressed by the children of the country, who show a particular conscience for environmentally oriented living already at an elementary school age. The education of Bhutan’s youth is focused on a way of life in harmony with nature. This enlightened our participants about the importance of engaging the coming generation in sustainable development and maintaining a healthy balance between human beings and nature for the sake of our future.During the following days, the experts of the Blue Economy guided by Prof. Dr. Gunter Pauli, presented their innovations and business models using locally available resources, which can support Bhutan in its development of a sustainable and succesful economy. Among these were concepts for international marketing of organically farmed buckwheat for food production in industrial nations like Japan and Germany. Some promising products from buckwheat are the manufacturing of alcohol-free organic beer and soba (Japanese noodles).

The portfolio of technologies that may be implemented to achieve national energy independence was of a special interest. At present the country relies on fuel imported from neighboring countries like India, and is in need of decentralized solutions for the many remote Himalayan communities. A combination of technologies like solar panels by the Swedish company Solarus AB (see Case 53) as well as the production of methane gas from sewage slurry and organic waste within biogas plants will surely form part of the strategy in reaching this milestone.

Link to Case 53:

The innovations and business models presented were discussed with the participants and the Bhutanese government, focusing on their potential for Bhutan and their economic viability. After the Bhutan Meeting, the best and most promising concepts will be implemented within a series of projects. Almost all meeting  participants have announced their willingness to assist through providing financial and technological support for these projects.

In cooperation with the Blue Economy, Bhutan is developing an initiative which is unique in the world and will surely be an outstanding example and a new benchmark for sustainable ecological and economical activity. We are looking forward to informing you regularly about the exciting developments and details of each of the projects within our Blue Economy Community website as well as our newsletter.

Some impressions from the Land of the Thunder Dragon and the Bhutan Meeting are available within our Facebook profile.
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If you have a special interest in our projects in Bhutan or wish to support a particular project, please do not hesitate to mail us via:

Anders Nyquist, Arkitektkontor AB

Anders Nyquist, Arkitektkontor AB

We are all standing at a crossroad. 
1314022996 Anders Nyquist, Arkitektkontor AB We Blue

We are all standing at a crossroad. We have the knowledge. We have the possibilities. We have the networks. We can change the world. To change to a world where we count the happiness instead of greed. Let us try! Let us do it together. Bhutan can be the real good example.