Genres: Documentary
Duration: 68 minutes
Availability: Worldwide. Translated into 26 languages. Click HERE to find your language.
Produced by Helena Norberg-Hodge 
Written and directed by Steven Gorelick, John Page & Helena Norberg-Hodge
Narrated by John Page

The Economics of Happiness

The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people around the world are resisting those policies – and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.

“A powerful new film that cuts deeply to the heart of the global crisis. Magnificent!”
– David Suzuki, Television presenter and environmentalist

Download the FREE Discussion Guide and Companion to the film, designed for student use and informal discussion groups. It follows the film, chapter by chapter, expanding on the arguments and pointing to a wealth of new resources for further learning, reflection and action.

Best Direction, EKOFilm 2011, Czech Republic
Best in Show, Cinema Verde Film Festival
Golden Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival
Judges’ Selection (Theme of Human Unity), Auroville Film Festival, India
Audience Selection (Theme of Human Unity), Auroville Film Festival, India
Bronze Award, Oregon Environmental Film Festival
Aloha Accolade Award, Honolulu Film Awards
Award of Merit, Accolade Film Awards

Meta Learning and Take Action Resources

What do the Economics of Happiness, New Economy, Doughnut Economics, Sacred Economics, the Gift Economy, Wellbeing Economy, and Local Economies have in common? They are all part of a movement which proposes a solution-oriented economic mindset for 21st century challenges. Here are some organizations working to renew ecological, social and spiritual well-being by promoting a systemic shift towards economic localization – the building of a future where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive.

Local Futures works to renew ecological, social and spiritual well-being by promoting a systemic shift towards economic localization.

The Wellbeing Economy (WEAll)  is a collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working towards a well-being economy, delivering human and ecological well-being.

The New Economy Coalition (NEC) is a network of organizations imagining and building a future where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive. The Coalition is creating deep change in our economy and politics, placing power in the hands of people and uprooting legacies of harm, so that a fundamentally new system can take root. In their vision, regional solidarity economy ecosystems are essential building blocks for global economic transformation. Growing out of social movements in Latin America and the Global South, the solidarity economy provides real alternatives to capitalism, where communities govern themselves through participatory democracy, cooperative and public ownership, and a culture of solidarity and respect for the earth. A solidarity economy ecosystem is an environment where all of the things a community needs are controlled and governed by everyday people: like housing, schools, farms and food production, local governance

RIPESS is a global network of continental networks committed to the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy. The member networks themselves (Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania) bring together national and sectorial networks, thus ensuring strong territorial anchoring. The combined local and global scope gives RIPESS legitimacy to promote a social solidarity economy, foster intercontinental cooperation, and advocate at different levels. structures, art and culture, healthcare and healing, and transportation.

The U.S. Solidarity Economy Network mission is to connect a diverse array of individuals, organizations, businesses and projects in the shared work of building and strengthening regional, national and international movements for a solidarity economy. Through publications, a website, mailing list, and face-to-face gatherings, the network will facilitate: ongoing communication and dialog relating to the development of solidarity economy ideas, values and practices; the sharing of experiences, models and skills; and the creation of collaborative, movement-building projects between network members.

The Schumacher Center for a New Economics works to envision the elements of a just and regenerative global economy; undertakes to apply these elements in its home region of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts; and then develops the educational programs to share the results more broadly, thus encouraging replication. Their mission is to envision a just and regenerative economy; apply the concepts locally; then share the results for broad replication.

Open Democracy: Seven ways to build the solidarity economy

Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) is a decentralized collective of educators, researchers and grassroots activists working to promote an economy based on democratic participation, worker and community ownership, social and economic justice, and ecological sustainability–a “solidarity economy”–through grassroots journalism, organizing support, cross-sector networking and movement-building, and the publication of educational and organizational resources. Since 1991, GEO has edited and printed a bi-monthly publication called GEO Newsletter, providing news, analysis and an open forum on grassroots organizing to build and finance worker- and community-owned, democratically run, solidarity-based, ecologically sustainable enterprises and organizations.

For more than 40 years, Southface Institute, a nonprofit 501(C)3 organization, has been a leader in the research, design and implementation of a regenerative economy, one that gives back more than it uses. Southface works in collaboration with a network of partner nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, universities and technical experts to implement sustainable, high-performance and scalable solutions in homes, workplaces and communities. The Regenerative Economy: Sustaining Society’s Future by Design

Dr. David C. Korten is the founder and president of the Living Economies Forum; co-founder, board member, and board chair emeritus of YES! Magazine; an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies; and a full member of the Club of Rome. He is best known for his seminal books framing a new economy for the Ecological Civilization to which humanity must now transition.

Doughnut Economics proposes an economic mindset that’s fit for the 21st century context and challenges. It’s not a set of policies and institutions, but rather a way of thinking that brings about the regenerative and distributive dynamics that this century calls for. Drawing on insights from diverse schools of economic thought – including ecological, feminist, institutional, behavioural and complexity economics – it sets out seven ways to think like a 21st century economist in order to bring the world’s economies into the safe and just space for humanity.

Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein and the course, Living in the Gift explores the Gift Economy in depth.

David Fleming is a historian, economist, and ecologist with a deep understanding of how our prevailing economic systems have guided and defined our present society. Fleming’s posthumously published lifework, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It is a compelling vision of how we can recover what we have lost as the market economy has worked its way into every aspect of our lives.

The Circular Economy Club (CEC) is the international network of the circular economy field, including professionals and organizations with over 280 CEC local clubs in 140 countries. CEC envisions a new era where all cities worldwide function through a circular model, setting the end of an age of waste. The current economy is based on the linear model to produce and consume more products and discard them fast. Compounded with rapid population growth, resources depletion and growing pollution, it poses unforeseen threats to our future. CEC believes the transition to the circular economy is a solution to protect and promote the health of the people and the planet and to design out waste from our world.

The REconomy Project is part of the Transition Network, a global grassroots movement of communities seeking to strengthen their resilience to problems including climate change, rising energy prices, economic uncertainty and inequality. A number of Transition groups or initiatives (TIs) are creating new livelihoods and enterprises, and expanding their area of influence deep into their local economic system. The REconomy Project can help you do the same where you live – to take on the exciting challenge of transforming the economic destiny of your local community.

Transition Together (UK) supports people to connect locally to build more sustainable and equal communities where we have control over our day to day lives. The climate crisis, inequality, division and widespread discrimination show our political and economic systems are not serving the well-being of people or the planet. But people from all walks of life are coming together to turn this around and build a better future. Communities are stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. If we wait for governments, it will be too late. If we act as individuals, it will be too little. But if we act as communities, it might just be enough, and it might just be in time.

The Institute for Policy Studies is a leader on New Economy policy issues under its programs on the Global Economy, and Inequality and the Common Good. The latter program provides support for Resilience Circles, Wealth for the Common Good, and offers many useful resources.

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is an alliance of businesses and organizations working together to build local economics that work for people and nature.

The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) provides a variety of resources for “buy independent, buy local” campaigns and other efforts to support community enterprise.

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