Laura Musikanski is the co-founder of the Happiness Initiative, a group that explores how insights from Bhutan’s Gross Domestic Happiness project could be practically applied within the United States. Formerly, she was the Executive Director of Sustainable Seattle. We spoke about her efforts to encourage governments and citizens to rethink gross national product as a measure of progress. In lieu of viewing progress in strictly material terms, Larua is advocating a future in which policy decisions are guided by a model of happiness quantification adapted from Bhutan. Laura’s conversation has several points of resonance with Cameron Whitten, both because of her focus on social justice and her prioritizing collaborative conversation over specific methods of reform. Her methods of measuring and promoting happiness make an interesting complement (juxtaposition?) to the neuroscience and behavioral economics of Colin Camerer.
And if you like surveys, numbers, and seeing how the Happiness Initiative collects data, you can take their survey here. If you post thoughtful comments, maybe I’ll even tell you what I scored.
Artwork by Eleanor Davis.