The Economics of Happiness: Think Localization, Act Against Globalization
By GPF Global Policy Forum at Feb 16, 2011
This new documentary film asks the viewer to think about the problems caused by globalization and to consider the benefits of localization. The film makers urge the audience to consider a different lifestyle, leading to greater happiness and wellbeing through interdependence at a community level. The films’ underlying thesis is that “going local” is a powerful strategy to help repair our fractured world – our ecosystems, our societies and our selves’. The imagery evokes a feel-good response from the viewer and inspires the audience to build collective civil society movements that support the growth of local food, local businesses and eventually local economies.
Directors Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick, and John Page blame globalization - an unsustainable global economic system - for many modern problems like climate change, poverty, hunger and the epidemic of depression. In addition, the film shows how globalization “breeds cultural self-rejection, competition, and divisiveness” as well as how it “structurally promotes growth of slums and urban sprawl”.
The Economics of Happiness then offers practical solutions to counter the negative effects of globalization. Activists can use messages from the film to grow local movements and increase support for wellbeing, the environment and community at a local level. The film makers anticipate that society as a whole will become happier if action is taken at a community level to localize.
Whilst globalization appears to be a phenomenon knowing no bounds and few alternatives, peoples’ movements, like the one this film is seeking to build, show that the effects are neither irreversible nor inevitable. We can all work together to shape an alternate future where local traditions, cultures and communities are preserved, ultimately safeguarding our happiness. We can build a globalization of cooperation, solidarity, and respect for the environment while simultaneously restoring our own sense of wellbeing and faith in humanity.
To find out more about the film, click here.