Counting, GDP and Happiness

A double-video post! The first is a very short speech (~1967) by Robert Kennedy about what is included in GDP and what is excluded. He’s got some great points that suggest GDP is a very poor metric.

The second video is a TED talk by Chip Conley (2010) about finding ways to measure what really matters. He uses the example of Bhutan and their movement to think about GNH (Gross National Happiness) versus GDP. I was made aware of GNH about five years ago but didn’t really understand it. As Chip explains, Bhutan is not trying to make everyone in the country happy, rather they are trying to ensure that the conditions to allow happiness to be experienced are in place. Let me put a teaching/learning flavour on that to close: Professors/teachers cannot require that learning happens but we can ensure that we create an environment that encourages learning.

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