The Economics of Happiness spells out the social, spiritual, and ecological costs of today’s global economy. Importantly, the film also highlights the many benefits of a shift towards the local and showcases some of the steps people are already taking worldwide. Featuring interviews with Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Samdhong Rinpoche, and other inspiring thinkers and activists.

The film captures the spirit of the current age and why our unhappiness could be systemic. The unchecked economic growth takes us to new mental states collectively. Material objects tell us who to be and they also control our happiness. Although we are aware of how damaging this is, we still subscribe to the ideas of consumerism and accummulation of objects.

The film reminds us that we are still in control and that we can change things. However, to change the global system, we have to start locally. The film provides a blueprint of actions that we can take to change the system. Favouring local shops instead of global chains is one such change. By doing so, we boost the local economy and more money goes into the hands of people we know. When money goes to global chains, very little of it actually reaches the people in the community. Shifting the dynamic towards local enterprises ensures that the money stays with actual people and not with corporations.

Another key change is in buying from local farmer’s markets instead of supermarket chains. This change not only encourages local farmers but also increases diversity of produce. Choosing to favour local farmers boosts their happiness as well as ours.

68 Minutes / 2011 / Directed by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick and John Page

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