The Art of Strengths Coaching

B is for Bhutan: Focusing On Gross National Happiness

Bhutan has long been known for its focus on well-being. The nation is now exploring how to embody this in a new development paradigm that focuses on Gross National Happiness. Below are excerpts from the relevant websites.


Excerpt From Bhutan’s New
Development Paradigm Initiative

Bhutan’s New Development Paradigm (NDP) initiative is part of the worldwide effort to help define a new and more viable post-2015 global development agenda.

The NDP is grounded in the principles of Gross National Happiness – the unique vision of human development first proposed by the 4th King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in the early 1970s when he declared that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.”

Excerpt From Bhutan’s December 2013
Report To The United Nations

Gross National Happiness (GNH) proposes that responsible development is characterized by the right balance between equitable and sustainable livelihood, ecological conservation, good governance and a dynamic and thriving culture.

This, in turn, fosters the sense of sufficiency and contentment which promotes harmony and connectedness with nature, others and ourselves – the essence of true happiness.

The human aspiration for happiness transcends all the dividing contours of society and has the power to unite all of humanity.

Through the NDP initiative, Bhutan hopes to inspire a more holistic, balanced and inclusive approach to development, which recognises the interdependent nature of reality and the inescapable connectedness of human happiness and wellbeing with the wellbeing of all life on our precious and finite planet.

Read the full report here:

UN report

Read more about Bhutan’s initiative at:

Some members of the International Expert Working Group (IEWG) that contributed to Bhutan’s New Development Paradigm initiative have formed Alliance for Sustainability and Prosperity (ASAP).

This is to create a broader alliance to include individuals, groups, civil societies, non-governmental and state bodies in order to harness collective thinking and work towards a common goal.

Read more about ASAP at:

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