Redefining Success: Ethical Markets 1

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Redefining Success: Ethical Markets 1 (28:00)
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Most economists use Gross Domestic Product to measure a country’s economic health. But some experts in the field of economic development consider GDP calculations to be painfully inadequate. This program explores alternative ways to define national success and productivity using not only monetary parameters but also the safety, happiness, and potential of a country’s citizens and the health of its natural environment. A conversation with Interface CEO Ray Anderson sheds light on efforts to reduce the ecological footprint of big corporations, while University of California mathematics professor Ralph Abraham and Wealth of Nature author Robert Nadeau describe the failure of mainstream economics to address quality of life and other human issues. (28 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (7)

1. Measuring National Success: GDP, HDI, and Gross National Happiness (03:47)
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Gross National Product and Gross Domestic Product are widely used to measure national success. The UN Human Development Index (HDI) measures national well-being more holistically; the Buddhist country of Bhutan measures Gross National Happiness.

2. Ecological Footprints (01:59)

Ecological footprints compare natural resource availability to consumption and identify countries as either ecological creditors or ecological debtors. Governments and businesses are beginning to see that reducing resource demand improves long-term well-being.

3. Reducing Venezuela's Ecological Footprint (01:57)

Venezuela is working to reduce its ecological footprint but the oil industry still poses a significant threat to the nation's environmental health. Some leaders assert the importance of measuring health and happiness when assessing national success.

4. Socially Conscious Business and Investing (04:56)

Organizations are beginning to understand the value of conducting themselves in socially and environmentally responsible ways. More and more people are choosing to invest in socially and environmentally conscious companies.

5. Sustainable Business Practices (04:32)

The CEO of Interface details his company's efforts to be as socially and environmentally conscious as possible. He credits these efforts with strengthening the organization and improving its financial bottom line.

6. Criticism of Traditional Economics (03:10)

Professional economists have drawn criticism for promoting unscientific economic theories which have caused substantial harm, especially in developing nations. Some experts are calling for an overhaul of the economics profession.

7. New Tools to Measure National Success (03:11)

Leaders worldwide are beginning to redefine the way that national prosperity is measured. One new tool for measuring national success, the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, considers 12 broad areas and includes social and environmental factors.

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