Holy See discusses happiness as a measure of the economy

May 24, 2013 |

Holy See discusses happiness as a measure of the economy


British Embassy hosts conference to examine well-being as a measure of prosperity and sustainable economic development.


On 28 May 2013, the British Embassy to the Holy See, together with the Embassy of Costa Rica to the Holy See, and in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Culture, will host the half-day conference: “Well-Being of Society: Happiness as a measure of the economy? A cultural perspective”.

His Eminence Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, President Pontifical Council for Culture, H.E. Carlos Roverssi, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Glenn Everett, National Director for Well-Being, Office for National Statistics, United Kingdom, and Saamah Abdallah, of the New Economics Foundation, London, will be among the distinguished speakers.

The theme of the conference will be well-being as a more comprehensive measurement of prosperity and sustainable economic development than GDP. One tool that has been developed to measure well-being is The Happy Planet Index (HPI), a new measurement of human well-being and environmental impact, that was introduced by the London-based New Economics Foundation, and takes into account other key issues like the impact of resource use on the planet, and a wider range of social indicators contributing to well-being (such as life expectancy or education).

The conference will explore the concept of well-being as a tool for those who are engaged in politics. It will make a contribution to the cross disciplinary public debate on well-being in international economic, intellectual and religious circles, by posing the question: can we measure, and therefore promote, happiness?


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