‘All those of us – and let me repeat that we are many who work at the human scale for human solutions where human beings really are, form a group that is powerful because it lacks all greed for power. We are – like in ancient times of generalized crisis – the new “monasteries where the wealth of our cultural variety and diversity shall be preserved, until the hordes of uniformity, of power, of depletion and of greed collapse under the unsustainable weight of their own gigantic stupidity.’
This phrase from Manfred Max-Neef captures some of the essence of our current collective inquiry, here at Schumacher College. Yesterday we started a three weeks Economics of Happiness course, with participants from the MSc in Holistic Science, MA in Economics of Transition, and also guests from the Netherlands, Colombia, Japan, to mention some.
Since our first session there has been a sense of excitement in the group, as we seem to agree upon many ideas around what really matters in life, of what happiness is made of. We all come here to make our contribution towards making this planet a happier place but how? Worldwide there are many emergent initiatives that are trying to change the focus from problems to solutions.
One of them is the NEF(New Economics Foundation) one of our teachers this week works there: Nic Marks. He have been working for years to develop the HPI(happy planet index), a measure of what matters: the extent to which countries deliver long, happy, sustainable lives for the people that live in them. Since it was first released around 2006 many thousands of people around the world are starting to look progress in another way.