What is GNH?
Gross National Happiness, or GNH, is a holistic and sustainable approach to development, which balances material and non-material values with the conviction that humans want to search for happiness. The objective of GNH is to achieve a balanced development in all the facets of life that are essential; for our happiness.
Why does GNH matter?
We are in the age of the Anthropocene when the fate of the planet and all life is within the power of mankind. Boundless consumerism amidst widening socio-economic inequality and instability is causing rapid resource depletion and degradation. Climate change, species extinction, multiple crises, growing insecurity, instability and conflicts are not only diminishing our well-being but are also threatening our very survival.
GNH directly addresses such global, national and individual challenges by pointing to the non-material roots of well- being and offering ways to balance and satisfy the dual needs of the human being within the limits of what nature can provide on a sustainable basis.
“Gross National Happiness measures the quality of a country in a more holistic way than GNP, and believes that the beneficial development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occurs side by side to complement and reinforce each other. We have now clearly distinguished the ‘happiness’ … in GNH from the fleeting, pleasurable ‘feel good’ moods so often associated with that term. We know that true abiding happiness cannot exist while others suffer, and comes only from serving others, living in harmony with nature, and realizing our innate wisdom and the true and brilliant nature of our own minds.”
– Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Former PM of Bhutan: & Chairman of the GNH Centre