John Helliwell: Which are the World’s Happiest Nations and Why? (The Green Interview)
Catalogue Number: PT0102
Producer: Paper Tiger
Subject: Biography, Business Studies, Canadian World Studies, Consumer Studies, Documentary, Economics, Environmental Studies, Family Studies/Home Economics, Global Studies, Guidance, Health, Sociology
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2019
Running Time: 74:16
John Helliwell is a hugely distinguished economist whose resume includes work for national and international bodies like Canada’s Royal Commission on Banking and Finance, the Royal Commission on Taxation, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Minister of Finance, the British Office of National Statistics and many more. He’s edited scholarly journals and served as visiting professor at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. But what he’s doing right now is serving as lead author of the World Happiness Report published annually by the United Nations, which ranks the happiness of the world’s nations as measured by careful surveys of their populations.
Happiness, it turns out, has a lot less to do with money and employment than our current policies and preoccupations would suggest. It is correlated with objective measurable factors like income and life expectancy but it turns out to be far more highly correlated with subjective and social factors. Can you trust your neighbours? Does your life give you opportunities to serve them and vice versa? Do you feel free to make the major decisions that shape your life? In times of trouble do you have someone to count on? And it turns out that paying attention to happiness and to those all-important caring relationships with other people provides what Helliwell calls “a powerful new path to sustainability.” “If people really are happier working together for a worthy purpose,” he writes, “this exposes a multitude of win-win solutions to material problems, thereby building community while meeting material needs. ”Happy people, in short, take better care of the planet."