Escaping the handcuffs of GDP: Vanuatu finds a better way to measure wellbeing [video]

In the language of modern economics, Vanuatu’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP, a measure the monetary value of the finished goods and services of the nation, is very low compared to other countries.

And yet Vanuatu has an abundance of things that humans need to live productive and sustainable lives – clean air, clean food, clean water, access to customary land, a social safety net, traditional knowledge — things that modern economics say have no monetary value and therefore are not valued by GDP.

Measures like GDP can’t adequately assess the human progress of a country like Vanuatu, where living, flourishing traditional cultures exist side-by-side with ‘modern’, Western ideas of development.

So, as the video above from the Christensen Fund shows, Vanuatu is leading efforts to create a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ approach to human development. Founded upon the strengths of our traditional cultures, Vanuatu is engaging with ‘modern’ development — but on our own terms.