New film finds solutions to global problems


Economics of Happiness: Going local can help solve our global crises

The launch of The Economics of Happiness, a one-hour documentary about the worldwide movement for economic localization, recently debuted in America and Europe. Festival screenings and television broadcast are planned soon.

Going beyond merely identifying the myriad problems of corporate globalization, The Economics of Happiness explores the rapidly growing localization movement, which offers a strategic solution to our most serious economic, social and environmental crises.

The Economics of Happiness is “a must-see film for the future of the planet,” says Zac Goldsmith, member of UK Parliament, who appears in the documentary.

“Going local,” the film argues, is a powerful strategy to help repair our fractured world — our ecosystems, our societies and ourselves. The Economics of Happiness spells out the policy changes needed to enable local economies and communities to survive and prosper.

The film is global in its perspective, drawing inspiration from urban gardens in Detroit, the Transition Town movement in England, community development in Japan, ecological development in Ladakh, India, cultural preservation in Peru, and much more.  In doing so, The Economics of Happiness illustrates how people worldwide are working to solve the multiple crises we face as a planetary community by localizing their economies and their cultures.

The Economics of Happiness also features numerous acclaimed environmentalists, scholars and authors: Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Juliet Schor, Richard Heinberg, Bhutanese film director Khyentse Norbu, and the first Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile Samdhong Rinpoche, among others.

“It is good news indeed to find so persuasive an explanation of our ailing world as The Economics of Happiness,” writes eco-philosopher Joanna Macy.  “This film connects the dots between climate chaos, economic meltdown, and our own personal suffering — stress, loneliness, and depression. It presents the localization movement as a systemic alternative to corporate globalization, as well as a strategy that brings community and meaning to our lives.”

Producer Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and its predecessor, the Ladakh Project. Norberg-Hodge is the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, the basis for the 1993 award-winning documentary film of the same name produced by John Page. She is also the co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as The Ecologist, Resurgence, and YES! magazine. As founder of the Ladakh Ecological Development Group, Norberg-Hodge received the Right Livelihood award, or alternative Nobel prize. She is also a co-founder of the International Forum on Globalization.

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