After five years of production we are pleased to announce the release of The Economics of Happiness.
At the International Society for Ecology and Culture, we have spent the last three decades raising awareness of the underlying causes of the many crises we face today. From climate change to terrorism, financial insecurity to the epidemic of depression – we have argued that most of our most pressing problems can be traced back to an unsustainable global economic system. More importantly, we have pointed to a strategic way to address these problems simultaneously: economic localization.
The Economics of Happiness offers not only a big-picture analysis of globalization, but a powerful message of hope for the future. The thinkers and activists we interviewed for the film come from every continent, and represent the interests of the great majority of people on the planet today. Their message is unambiguous: in order to respect and revitalize diversity, both cultural and biological, we need to localize economic activity. They argue that a systemic shift – away from globalizing economic activity and towards the local – is an almost magic formula that allows us to reduce our ecological footprint while increasing human well-being.
When people start connecting the dots between climate change, global economic instability and their own personal suffering – stress, loneliness, depression – there is the potential for a movement that will truly change the world. Featuring a wealth of diverse perspectives, the film illustrates these often hidden connections. We go beyond the narrow analysis of the mainstream to show that antagonism between human needs and the needs of nature is not inevitable.
Resistance to further economic globalization has created powerful new alliances: deep ecologists linking hands with labor unionists, independent businessmen collaborating with small farmers. Now, at the grassroots, localization is also bridging divides in a completely new way – bringing people together across ethnic, religious, economic and even partisan divides.
We have found the process of making this film incredibly inspiring. Simply to see the multitude of grassroots movements afoot has been heartening – a testimony to human goodwill and resilience. We hope that The Economics of Happiness will bring the same inspiration to viewers around the world. It provides insight, hope, reassurance and above all, motivation to join in the growing localization movement. Bringing the economy closer to home can not only save us from environmental and economic catastrophe, it can help us to re-discover those essential relationships – both with the living world and with one another – that ultimately give our lives meaning and joy.