The Wellbeing and Policy report concludes that ‘GDP is too narrow a measure of prosperity’. The report suggests definitions and measures for wellbeing, identifying the following specific areas for policy attention: Mental Health, Support for Parents, Character Building, Citizen Empowerment, Volunteering, Stable (low rate) Growth, and Wellbeing at work.
As the Institute’s release says “The idea that there is more to life than money surely resonates with everyone….but there is much less agreement about the implications of wellbeing for public policy”. Our Happy City team hasn’t yet had time to read the report in detail, but think it interesting that the ‘economic objective’ is singled out as Stable Growth which seems at odds with the research findings about the economic importance of all of the policy areas. We imagine this just reflects the limitations of economic convention – also the reason such sensible policy priorities might be described as ‘startling’!
The Legatum Institute’s release is timed for the OECD summit ‘Beyond GDP Growth‘ in Paris next week, where Happy City founder Liz Zeidler has been invited to present our ideas for practical action, measurement and policy making at city scale. We look forward to joining the world’s leading experts in Paris – watch this space for a report on what it could all mean for us here in the UK.