Hello, this is the Happynomics.Net INDEXES section. It has a central role in my research, and is ment to be an extremely open space, in order to think and write freely about the subject of how Economics are meant to improve human happiness, how Happiness can foster economic and organizational development, and how we can measure all this.

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The first proposal that has become popular is the notion of GNH: Gross National Happiness. Gross National Happyness was developed in the Kingdom of Bhutan (see GNH, and also Going much further than the concept of GNP, which focuses on growth, GNH defines the degree of development of a country or a community, as a function of nine relevant elements additional to economic growth. Those elements are, currently:

  • Psychological well-being
  • Standard of living and happiness
  • Good governance and Gross National Happiness
  • Health
  • Education
  • Community Vitality
  • Cultural diversity and Resilience
  • Time use and happiness
  • Ecological diversity and resilience

This list of items is actually more sophisticated than the original one, which included only six elements:

  • Equality: egalitarian distribution of wealth, and equal access to credit
  • Freedom and diversity
  • Health
  • Education
  • Security
  • Sustainability: of the natural resources and cultural fundamentals.

OECD launched in 2010 (its 50th anniversary) the “Better Life Initiative”. The objective is to promote better policies for a better life. One of the pillars of this initiative is the Better Life Index (, an interactive and comprehensive sum of topics of well-being in 34 member countries of OECD, and other economies, aiming at implying citizens in the debate about social progress. 11 topics reflect what the OECD has identified as essential to well-being in terms of material living conditions (housing, income, jobs) and quality of life (community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance). The Better Life Index is based upon the idea that there are more things in life than the cold numbers of G.N.P. And statistics. A peculiarity of this index is that users set the relative importance of each indicator to his personal preference, and compare the outcome with other people in his country or other countries around the world.
Another organization participating in this new tendency in economics, the New Economics Foundation, (NEF), created in 2006 the Happy Planet Index ( It is described as a study on human well-being and on environmental impact (thus incorporating elements of sustainable development). This is done comparing the ability of each country to help their citizens in achieving a happy life. They put it this way: “HPI measures what matters: the extent to which countries deliver long, happy, sustainable lives for the people that live in them. The Index uses global data on life expectancy, experienced well-being and Ecological Footprint to calculate this”.
More recently, NEF developed the National Accounts of Well-being, “a radical proposal to guide the direction of modern societies and the lives of people who live in them. In contrast to the conventional narrow focus on economic indicators, it calls for governments to directly and regularly measure people’s subjective well-being: their experiences, feelings and perceptions of how their lives are going, as a new way of assessing societal progress”:

UK Prime Minister David Cameron created a National Happiness Index to provide quarterly measures of how people feel. The first results are available since July 2012:

Canadian Index of Wellbeing:

The Social Progress Index measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens. Fifty-two indicators, selected and defined among other by Michael E. Porter and Hernandez de Soto, in the areas of basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity, show relative performance in order to elevate the quality of discussion on national priorities and to guide social investment decisions:

The Human Economic Welfare Index (HEWI) is an attempt by Jacobs and SIaus to “retain the streng associated with GDP, while sustancially enhancing its value as a measura of human economic development”: of Economics Progress- The Power of Measurement and Human Welfare, Jacobs, Garry et al.pdf

The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) considers forms of progress ignored in GDP, such as wellness, natural capital accounting, and even gross national happiness. It claims to be a more comprehensive single metric, providing a complete picture of economic and social progress:

The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) is an economic indicator intended to replace the GDP, which is the main macroeconomic indicator of System of National Accounts (SNA). It was developed in 1989 by Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, and later they went on to add several other “costs” to its definition. Rather than simply adding together all expenditures like GDP, consumer expenditure is balanced by such factors as income distribution and cost associated with pollution and other unsustainable costs. It is similar to the GPI:

Web-COSI is designed with the general objective to foster the engagement of citizens and society at large in the area of new measures of societal progress and well-being using the opportunities given by Web 2.0 technology and with the specific objective to implement tools for collecting, producing and visualizing information and data towards a better integration of official and non-official statistics (beyond GDP):

The Common Good Balance Sheet is a central tool of the Economy for the Common Good (ECG). The ECG places human beings and all living entities at the center of economic activity. It translates standards for human relationships as well as constitutional values into an economic context and rewards stakeholders for behaving and organizing themselves in a humane, cooperative, ecological and democratic way.

Das Wohl des Einzelnen hängt auch vom Gemeinwohl ab. Als soziales Wesen ist der Mensch auf eine Umgebung angewiesen, innerhalb derer er sich als Individuum entwickeln kann und wo er Anerkennung und Unterstützung erfährt. In einer funktionierenden Gesellschaft ist Gemeinwohl das Band, welches das Gemeinwesen zusammenhält, Richtschnur bei der Lösung von Konflikten und Ressource für den Einzelnen. Damit verkörpert Gemeinwohl immer auch eine Idee von dem, was allen gemeinsam sein soll und wodurch sich eine Gesellschaft in ihrem Wesen auszeichnet.

The conceptual framework for the development of Social Wealth Economic Indicators is described in the report National Indicators and Social Wealth and is based on meetings of economists and other experts convened by the Center for Partnership Studies and the Urban Institute in 2012 in Washington DC.

A human centered approach begins with a belief that all problems are solvable, recognizing that those facing problems carry the solutions. Adopting a human centered approach entails problem-solving and targeted efforts to prioritize diverse stakeholders – achieved through key values and principles such as purpose, empathy, systems-approach and resilience. The Human Centered Business Index is a celebration of Swedish businesses – ranging from large corporations, medium size companies and social enterprises – that are all pioneers in business beyond sustainability. The Index was launched with a seminar at KTH Royal Institute of Technology:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are an intergovernmental set of aspiration Goals with 169 targets.Spearheaded by the United Nations, The Goals are contained in paragraph 54 United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015. The Resolution is a broader intergovernmental agreement that, while acting as the Post 2015 Development Agenda (successor to the Millennium Development Goals), builds on the Principles agreed upon under Resolution A/RES/66/288, popularly known as The Future We Want.

Istat, together with representatives of the third sector and civil society, has developed a multidimensional approach to measure “equitable and sustainable well-being” (Bes), integrating the indicator of economic activity (GDP) with measures of basic social and environmental dimensions of well-being, together with measures of inequality and economic, social and environmental sustainability.:

Vital Signs is a national program led by community foundations and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and support action towards improving our collective quality of life:

The Inclusive Development Index (IDI) is an annual assessment of 103 countries’ economic performance that measures how countries perform on eleven dimensions of economic progress in addition to GDP. It has 3 pillars; growth and development; inclusion and; intergenerational equity – sustainable stewardship of natural and financial resources.
The IDI is a project of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on the Future of Economic Progress.

The Global Creativity Index, or GCI, is a broad-based measure for advanced economic growth and sustainable prosperity based on the 3Ts of economic development — talent, technology, and tolerance. It rates and ranks 139 nations worldwide on each of these dimensions and on our overall measure of creativity and prosperity.

Human Scale Development is basically community development and is “focused and based on the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, on the generation of growing levels of self-reliance, and on the construction of organic articulations of people with nature and technology, of global processes with local activity, of the personal with the, of planning with autonomy and of civil society with the state. Human needs, self-reliance, and organic articulations are the pillars which support Human Scale Development.” Human Scale Development “assumes a direct and participatory democracy.

The Earth Charter Index: Measuring the Contributions of Countries to Planetary Well-being: ” Look up your country’s contributions to planetary well-being through the four pillars of the Earth Charter. Ask what actions and policies drive the indicators for each pillar. Do the actions and policies in your country reflect values of the four pillars of the Earth Charter? Which ethical values of the Earth Charter pillars can your country practice to increase its contributions to planetary well-being? How can your country commit itself to contributing to planetary well-being through ethical values of the four pillars of the Earth Charter?”