Local Living Expo/Screening of 'The Economics of Happiness' Friday 7-9pm Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz $5 adv/$7 door
All over the world, communities are making efforts to localize their politics in attempts to rebuild their starving economies. This Friday, March 18, Santa Cruz goes local when the film The Economics of Happiness screens at the Rio Theatre.
Following the screening will be a discussion with local experts Ross Clark, City of Santa Cruz Climate Coordinator; Michael Levy of Transition Santa Cruz; Irene Tsouprake, CEO of ITL Events and Gross National Happiness Advocate; Ocean Robbins, author, speaker and activist; and Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, researcher, author and activist.
The Economics of Happiness addresses climate change and sustainability issues crucial to the well-being of our economies and communities today. As explained in the film by experts including Bill McKibben and Vandana Shiva, the breakdown of the community undermines the local culture, economy and happiness level. Elizabeth Borelli, who is organizing the Local Living Expo, says that when she first saw the film, it connected the dots between the problem of globalization and the solution of localization. She hopes to assemble the community to view a possible solution to issues that seem impossible to solve. One solution that The Economics of Happiness proposes is instating a Gross National Happiness (GNH) measure as an alternative to the current Gross National Product (GNP) standard. GNH originated in Bhutan, a kingdom whose monarch willingly abdicated the throne to create democracy, as a way to measure national well-being. Based on four pillars—natural environment, cultural identity, good government and sustainability—GNH maintains that a nation has only two real assets: its human beings and the natural environment. When asked what it means to be a GNH advocate, Irene Tsouprake laughs and says, “Exactly the opposite of GNP advocate!” Tsouprake, herself a businesswomen, believes that the likelihood of successfully implementing GNH in the United States is high. “There definitely is a consciousness coming into play in corporate America,” she says. “We know that if employees are happy, they’re more productive. Why would that not be a no-brainer?”
Like integrative medicine, GNH promises a comprehensive approach to health, only instead of an individual being at stake, the community is. Proceeds from the event benefit ISEC and Transition Santa Cruz.