SPREAD A LITTLE HAPPINESS
In the run-up to graduating from Harvard’s MBA course last month, Australian student Tom Humphrey was surfing the net and saw a competition being run by Mexican beer brand Dos Equis offering a $US25,000 grant to develop an idea or to plan an adventure.
Online voters and a panel of judges chose the entry by Humphrey and fellow student Ben Safran – a three-minute video (youtube.com/watch? v=voFAWmLO3-k) exploring Bhutan’s happiness index and what role, if any, it plays in economic growth.
With adventure blogger Seth Teicher and Emmy-award winning photographer Josh Cogan, Humphrey and Safran used the grant to visit Bhutan in May to research both the idea and adventure themes. “We spoke with a range of people,” says Humphrey, who spent almost three weeks trekking through remote villages and mountains, “from farmers, architects, construction workers and shop owners to members of parliament, radio hosts, monks and Nima Tshering, a friend from Harvard now running for parliament.”
Humphrey and Safran were also sponsored by professors at the Harvard Business School and John F. Kennedy School of Government. The case study they put together is intended for the schools’ curriculum.
“There is an enormous emphasis on economic growth and GDP,” Humphrey says. “We want to inject some thinking that challenges that and asks whether economic performance is the right metric for guiding governance and measuring progress. Is there some broader, more important objective, such as happiness?”
Don’t miss the deal’s MBA special report on August 16.
Tom Humphrey (below) used the competition grant to visit Bhutan and study the country and its happiness index.