Prime Minister Yoser said Bhutan has pursued a unique development path guided by the former King’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness since the early 1970s. Gross National Happiness emphasized a balanced life that matched the material needs of the body, with the spiritual, psychological and emotional needs of the mind. The Royal Government structured its development program on four broad themes: sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, not growth; environmental conservation; promotion of culture; and good governance. Despite growing problems like alcoholism and drug abuse, Prime Minister Yoser is hopeful about Bhutan’s future.
Our team has been invited to film the first-ever gathering of international scholars and great thinkers to examine the meaning of Gross National Happiness as it relates to education.
In December, 2009, The GNH Educational Conference will launch an unprecedented effort—the first in the world—to transform an entire national educational system along holistic lines.
Bhutan intends its new educational system to reflect fully and in every respect the principles, values, and approaches of its core ‘Gross National Happiness’ development philosophy, which seeks to integrate sustainable economic development with true environmental conservation, the wisdom and practices of its profound ancient culture, and good governance.
The country’s leaders want its youth to grow up as good citizens with a deep, abiding, and genuine care for the natural world and for others, and with the ability to see the nature of reality clearly and to cut through the dominant consumerist and materialist messaging to which they are exposed on television and elsewhere. The new education system is intended to integrate genuinely mind, heart, and action.