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Rachel Kyte on future philanthropy, citizens and cities

Rachel Kyte on future philanthropy, citizens and cities

On 31 May at the 24th EFC AGA and Conference in Copenhagen, Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, spoke on the global difficulties concerning financing sustainability initiatives and how foundations, municipal governments and the World Bank might work together to find solutions.

 

Do something today that your future self will thank you for

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

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Nic Marks: The Happy Planet Index

Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation’s success by its productivity — instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn’t have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be surprised.

Nic Marks gathers evidence about what makes us happy, and uses it to promote policy that puts the well-being of people and the planet first. He’s the founder of the Centre for Well-Being at the UK think tank New Economics Foundation (NEF).

Why you should listen to him:

Nic Marks thinks quality of life is measurable, and that true contentment comes not from the accumulation of material wealth but from our connections with others, engagement with the world, and a sense of autonomy. This isn’t just theory: a pioneer in the field of well-being research, Marks creates statistical methods to measure happiness, analyzing and interpreting the evidence so that it can be applied to such policy fields as education, sustainable development, healthcare, and economics.

The founder of the Centre for Well-Being, an independent think tank at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), in London, Marks is particularly keen to promote a balance between sustainable development and quality of life. To investigate this, he devised the Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being and environmental impact. The results made headlines: People in the world’s wealthiest countries, who consume the most of the planet’s resources, don’t come out on top in terms of well-being. Which raises the question: What purpose does unfettered economic growth serve?

To measure (and possibly improve) your own HPI, visit two useful sites from NEF: 5 Ways to Well-Being and Well-Being at Work.

“Marks urged politicians to pay more attention to life satisfaction over GDP. ‘The big message of [the HPI] rankings is that we have to produce a system that makes people happier without costing the Earth,’ he said.”   Louise Gray, Telegraph