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Much of modern life is based upon the assumption that happiness and well-being come from economic prosperity. Many � politicians and media and citizens alike � seem to assume that the main goal of government is to ensure that the economy is forever moving forward. It is now overwhelmingly clear however, says Nic Marks in this essay, that the blind pursuit of economic growth has created a whole set of social and environmental issues that are rapidly undermining the potential happiness and well-being of current and future generations. He convincingly posits and argues that it's time to imagine a different future, one where the desired outcome of policies and governance is the quality of people's experience of life.The founder of the Centre for Well-Being, an independent think tank at the new economics foundation (nep) in London, Marks has written here a powerful story about how, by measuring the wrong things, such as GDP, we have headed in the wrong direction, and offers strong suggestions on how nations and people can return to a shared common purpose: nurturing well-being. Though it does suggest a radical new approach to policymaking and a set of specific and positive actions, this is not a traditional political manifesto. Marks' argument is steeped in rigorous statistical methods to measure happiness, analyzing and interpreting the evidence so that it can be applied to such policy fields as education, sustainable development, healthcare, and economics.
The Happiness Manifesto is part of the TED Books series. TED Books are short books expressing a powerful idea that can be read in a single sitting.