The King of Bhutan’s hopes in 1987 for Gross National Happiness

History of GNH…….

Riding the Elephant

Extracts from the text of my “Financial Times” interview in April 1987 recording Bhutan’s search for “economic prosperity and political stability and social harmony”.

Bhutan-King4-Jigme-Sinagye-WangchukWhen Bhutan’s King Jigme Singye Wangchuck (right) first started talking in the 1970s and 1980s about Gross National Happiness being the guiding principle for development of his tiny remote Himalayan kingdom, people elsewhere thought the idea rather quaint and unreal.

Now the idea of GNH is being embraced in various parts of the world in a search for a better and more sustainable way to manage affairs ranging from the protection of the environment to worker participation in companies, and from organic farming and corporate social responsibility to government purchasing policies.

This became evident at a GNH conference held at Paro in Bhutan earlier this month, which was organised by Dasho Karma Ura, president of the Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research, and attended by…

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