In this decade we are faced with increasing evidence of the limits of an economic model whose main objective is economic growth (increase in Gross National Product) and of a business paradigm whose purpose is the creation of value to be distributed to shareholders.
Up to a certain point, the equation is correct: economic growth coincides with an improvement in people's happiness and well-being. However, the limitations of this approach are becoming strikingly apparent. Growth per se, if it legitimizes the exclusion of stakeholders as beneficiaries of value creation by businesses and if it does not take into account the Planetary Boundaries and, leads to imbalances that compromise the very functioning of the social and natural systems on which a prosperous development of our civilization fully depends.
For these reasons, the 2030 Re-generation Summit sets a specific focus on Happiness and People's well-being, as the reason why of any economic action.
Happiness and well-being are strongly connected with re-generation and climate action: happiness and well-being are the purpose, both a driver and a consequence of re-generative action. Unless business leaders, and other policy and decision makers start to consider happiness and well-being as a primary goal, neither will really contribute to achieving them. A happiness and well-being perspective, at a personal and social level, are the foundations to become re-generative and implement an effective climate action.
CALL TO ACTION
In order to foster re-generation and address the climate crisis, as individuals and business leaders we commit as follows:
As individuals, we realize that happiness and well-being require focus and discipline, on a daily basis. We commit to dedicating attention to our own happiness and well-being, as a pre-requisite for a more purposeful and impactful contribution to the betterment of society. We also commit to rejecting intolerance, racism, and other forms of discrimination, while contributing to reducing inequality in our own community and in the global one.
Our organizations commit to improving the happiness and well-being of all our stakeholders, and in particular the community of employees that make up our organizations and our supply chain. We will regularly measure employee well-being with an eye to take evidence-based action so that our companies contribute to nurturing peoples’ body and spirit. We will explore and adopt the most comprehensive and updated frameworks and tools to measure and develop happiness at work, embracing respect, inclusivity, and fostering a deep sense of community.
Furthermore, we address Governments and International Organizations and invite them to commit to action:
Following the UN General Assembly resolution 65/309 entitled “Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development”, we pledge to pursue the elaboration of additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies.
We encourage public servants, NGOS, policymakers and other players to explore innovative frameworks and tools to measure the happiness and well-being beyond the classic measurement of Gross National Product.
We highlight the following frameworks and research:
Gross National Happiness Framework
Since the 1960s, Bhutan has designed its own unique path for progress with impressive results: the main political and economic objective of Gross National Happiness (GNH) holds priority over economic growth. The GNH framework and the Bhutanese experience in the last decades provides insights for policymakers, and all those who question mainstream, consumption-based development approaches and strive for regenerative and sustainable alternatives.
World Happiness Report
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. The 2020 World Happiness Report focuses on Environment, Cities and non-urban areas differentials, and the connection between Happiness and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Equitable and sustainable well-being (BES – Benessere Equo e Sostenibile)
The project to measure equitable and sustainable well-being was born with the aim of assessing the progress of a society not only from an economic, but also from a social and environmental point of view. ISTAT, together with representatives of the social partners and civil society, has developed a multidimensional approach to measuring “Fair and Sustainable Well-being” (SEE) with the aim of integrating the information provided by indicators on economic activities with the fundamental dimensions of well-being, accompanied by measures on inequalities and sustainability.