Happiness as the ultimate intangible asset

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — commonly known by its acronym OECD — is celebrating its 50th anniversary. As part of that celebration, they have adopted a new tag line to explain who they are and what they do: “Better Policies for Better Lives.”
As part of “better policies,” OECD co-sponsored a conference with Athena Alliance last week on intangibles and economic growth: “New Building Blocks for Jobs and Economic Growth” (see earlier posting). That conference helped chart the direction for policy and research activities. (More later once I get the report written.) And of course, OECD has numerous other activities connected with better policies in a wide range of areas.
At the other end of the tag line, OECD also has started a Better Life Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to see how and whether lives are getting “better.” What is the measure of well-being and progress? They have just released their Better Life Index. This is not the standard set of indicators. Rather it allows individuals to assess their own well-being based on what is important to them and then see how nations rank on those preferences. The idea is to build a bottom up assessment of what is important. That data will later be tied to policy analysis in their long term project on “How’s Life?”
A very interesting project — one that we will be keeping an eye on.

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