Embarking on Inner Journeys: The 2024 Impact Safari Collaboration

May 15, 2024

Partnering with the Gross National Happiness Centre, a diverse cohort of thirteen individuals from Australia and Portugal gathered to immerse themselves in the profound philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) through focused explorations of integrated leadership, systems change thinking, and the pursuit of happiness and purpose. This journey revolves around the Four Pillars of GNH: Socio-Economic Development, Preservation & Promotion of Culture, Good Governance & Ecological Sustainability.

Their journey commenced with an auspicious arrival coinciding with the sacred day of Zhabdrung Kuchoe. Throughout the sessions, participants engaged in activities fostering a deep connection with nature, introspective self-reflection, and spiritual experiences—all in alignment with the core values of GNH.

The program included special sessions like:

  • Good Governance session with the Secretary General Dasho Duba, National Assembly, Parliament of Bhutan.
  • 2022 GNH Survey- Findings by Mr. Karma Wangdi from the Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Studies (CBS).
  • Wellbeing in action at the ELC School where real-world examples of GNH principles are integrated into the Bhutanese education system
  • Local wisdom by Mr. Dorji Wangchuk.

Reflecting on her experience, Bonnie Tai from Australia shared “We got to, not only explore and enjoy the best of Bhutan with like-minded, like- hearted leaders, but also learn first- hand about building a good society that prioritizes collective happiness and wellbeing. I would do the Impact Safari Bhutan again in a heartbeat."

Similarly Daniela from UK shared “Impact Safari is not tourism in Bhutan. What is wonderful about the Impact Safari is the 360 degree approach of the programme: it is physical, it is intellectual, and it is emotional . At the end, the feeling is of being 'complete': coming back home with memories, friendships and insights and mostly, coming transformed."

The Impact Safari is designed as a cross between a study tour and leadership experience where participants are engaged through the head, heart and hands approach to understand the philosophy of GNH in action. A collaborative initiative between Small Giants Australia and the GNH Centre Bhutan, the 10 day study is carefully crafted to enrich perspectives and interactions with participants, fostering lifelong connections with a community of impact-driven leaders.

Blending elements of a study tour and leadership immersion, the Impact Safari employs the holistic "head, heart, and hands" approach to delve into the principles underlying Gross National Happiness. The first one took place in 2018, close to 100 participants have joined the program since.


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