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[GreenYes] 3rd International Conference on Gross National Happiness




3rd International Conference on Gross National Happiness

TOWARDS GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION

WORLD VIEWS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Thailand, 22-28 November 2007


Rationale: The launching of the concept of Gross National Happiness in the global arena has induced a growing movement calling for transformation of conventional development policies and practices at all levels. By placing ‘happiness’ at the center of development, the current obsession with economic growth, measured by Gross National (or Domestic) Product, has been fundamentally challenged. In a great diversity of world views, happiness is the essence of life. Efforts are made to better understand and to monitor happiness. Well-being indices serve public policy development, in order to counter wealth-dominated, unsustainable, globalization. Bhutan, considered to be a poor country from a conventional view point, but rich in culture and ‘natural capital’, is inspiring towards global transformation. Whether we can measure happiness or not, the diversity of our world views make a difference on the ground. Co-organizers: Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation and the Center for Bhutan Studies. In partnership with a network of Thai NGOs and Youth groups, NGOs from the Mekong region; Social Venture Network Asia and independent business leaders; Ministry of Social Development & Human Security, and ‘Well-being Index Network’
, Government of Thailand. Objectives: · To provide a creative platform for inspirational exchanges on revitalization of ancient cultures and sufficiency life styles in the face of globalization; and cross-cultural communication on transformative world views through story-telling and folk arts. · To facilitate exchanges, interaction, scientific debate on research related to Gross National Happiness and public policy development; to further shape ongoing research frameworks. · To strengthen and innovate social movements and supporting networks that improve people’s happiness on the ground, genuine well-being and Human Security involving the diversity of stakeholders (civil society; governments at all levels; corporate sector).


Format of the conference: The organizers support engagement of local, national and international as well as issue-based partnerships based on autonomy; the conference serves as a creative momentum when participants of related activities over the year, and in various parts of the world, can meet and converge. Previous conferences: The first International Conference ‘Operationalizing Gross National Happiness
’ was convened in Thimphu, Bhutan, February 2004 by the Center for Bhutan Studies [_www.bhutanstudies.org.bt_ (http://www.bhutanstudies.org.bt/) ]. It coincided with the colourful celebration of Bhutanese New Year. The second International Conference on Gross National Happiness ‘Re-thinking Development: Local Pathways to Global Well-being’ was organized in Nova Scotia, Canada by Genuine Progress Index (GPI) Atlantic [_www.gpiatlantic.org_ (http://www.gpiatlantic.org/) ] in June 2005. Smaller gatherings took place in Thailand at the Asian Institute of Technology in September 2004; and with partners from the Mekong region at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, and Wongsanit Ashram in August 2006. In Japan a conference was organized at Osaka University. Partnership and sponsoring: GPI Atlantic fully supports the 3rd International Conference in Thailand to secure continuity and accumulation of experiences. All participating international organizations, networks and independent individuals are invited to join the conference-partnership. Development agencies and foundations are welcome to support the conference process and the emerging global process of long term local operationalization. Organizing Committee and Speakers: The Organizing Committee is Co-chaired by Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa, President Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation and H.E. Paiboon Wattanasiritham, Minister of Social Development and Human Security, Thailand. Speakers that confirmed are Vandana Shiva and Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley. Many more speakers, such as John Ralston Saul, have already indicated interest, and other speakers and resource persons will be approached. Your suggestions and help are most welcome. Please contact us: Initial organizing team: Somboon, Wallapa and Hans at _hans@no.address (mailto:hans@no.address) Suan Nguen Mee Ma Co., Ltd. 113-115 Fuang Nakorn Road Bangkok 10200 Thailand Tel (+66) 2 622 0955 fax (+66) 2 22 3228 _www.suan-spirit.com_ (http://www.suan-spirit.com/) A conference website is in the making.


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