Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland can help build a 'happier world'

0
Have your say

Scotland can play its part in helping to create a "fairer, happier world" by changing the focus of governments from wealth to well-being, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister insisted while the economic measure of GDP was "often seen as the most important measurement of a country's overall success" it was now "time for that to change".

Delivering a TED talk in Edinburgh, Ms. Sturgeon argued the "limitations" of using GDP as a measure of success were "all too obvious". Picture: PA

Delivering a TED talk in Edinburgh, Ms. Sturgeon argued the "limitations" of using GDP as a measure of success were "all too obvious". Picture: PA

Delivering a TED talk in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon argued the "limitations" of using GDP as a measure of success were "all too obvious".

She said: "GDP measures the output of all of our work but it says nothing about the nature of that work, about whether that work is worthwhile or fulfilling.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon challenges Boris Johnson to live TV debate on independence
"It puts a value, for example, on illegal drug consumption but not on unpaid care.

"It values activity in the short-term that boosts the economy even if that activity is hugely damaging to the sustainability of our planet in the longer term."

The First Minister added: "When you look ahead to the challenges of the climate emergency, increasing automation, an ageing population, then I think the argument for the case for a much broader definition of what it means to be successful as a country, as a society, is compelling and increasingly so."

She told how the Scottish Government was working with Iceland and New Zealand - both countries which are also led by women - to challenge the "narrow" focus on GDP.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The argument of that group is that the goal, the objective, of economic policy should be collective well-being - how happy and health a population is not just how wealthy a population is."

She hailed Scotland as having led the world in the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution.

Ms Sturgeon said with its renewable technology the country was now "helping lead the world into the low carbon age".

She added: "I want and am determined that Scotland will also be the country that helps change the focus of countries and governments across the world to put well-being at the heart of everything that we do.

"We owe that to this generation, I certainly believe we owe that to the next generation and all those that come after us."Doing this will create a "better, healthier, fairer and happier society here at home" in Scotland, she said.

Ms Sturgeon added: "And we play our part in Scotland in building a fairer, happier world as well."

For the nation’s best news, sport, opinion and expert analysis, subscribe to the Scotsman website and get unlimited access online and on our app.