The Happiness Debate: OurKingdom and openEconomy join the conversation

What is progress? Could our societies grow richer but everyone get more miserable? Is output the best measure of a nation's success? Such questions bring openEconomy and OurKingdom together to host The Happiness Debate.
Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
20 January 2011

What is progress? Could our societies grow richer but everyone get more miserable? Is output the best measure of progress if the environment is ruined and employment becomes much more insecure?

Such questions bring openEconomy and OurKingdom together to host The Happiness Debate. In the UK, Prime Minister  Cameron has announced that the government will collect data on Britain's happiness levels. President Nicholas Sarkozy already claims to be implementing recommendations by Armatya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz on how to move beyond a preoccupation with GDP as a national performance indicator.

We think this is an opportunity to re-examine the sources of value in our public and private lives, and the extent to which different forms of production and consumption are to be valued, over and above their monetary aspects. OurKingdom and openEconomy will take a many-angled approach to the debate, drawing on economics, social and cultural theory, political philosophy and the experience of life in the 21st century to re-examine the apparently simple question: what is it all for?

The debate opens with Will Davies' essay on the relationship between happiness and production.

Will COVID break up the UK?

Support for Scottish independence is at record levels. Support for a united Ireland is at record levels. Support for Welsh independence is at record levels.

The British state's management of the COVID crisis has widely been seen as disastrous. Will the pandemic accelerate the break-up of the United Kingdom?

Join us on Thursday 6 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET for a live discussion.

Hear from:

Anthony Barnett Founder of openDemocracy, he has often written about the need for a progressive England to emerge from the shadow of Britain.

Allison Morris Security correspondent and columnist with the Irish News, and an analyst of politics in Northern Ireland.

Harriet Protheroe-Soltani Trade union organiser for Wales and the south-west, vice chair of the campaign group Momentum, and has written about rising support for Welsh independence on the Left.

Chair: Adam Ramsay Editor at openDemocracy and frequent writer about Scottish independence, most recently in The Guardian.

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.


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