In my new role with the Genuine Progress Project, I’ve been enjoying learning about all the impressive related efforts going on around the world. I am finding a valuable context that helps me understand that I am part of something bigger than myself. Our efforts in Maryland are vital as an incubator for creative organizing around alternative indicators as we push to move our community #BeyondGDP. And, I am quickly learning that we are not alone. Instead, we are part of a growing global movement.
This morning I was pleased to find that LinkedIn’s strong series asking thought leaders what books impacted their personal and professional development turned to Marilyn Waring.
Tara Hunt of Toronto Canada tell us how Ms. Waring’s Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth impacted her deeply. This text hit her hard and has stuck with her for years. I had a similar experience when I first encountered the power of Marilyn Waring’s visionary and accessible work. I have in front of me my old copy of a video tape Who’s Counting: Sex, Lies, and the Global Economy by Ms. Waring. It rocked my world.
After viewing it the first time, I bought a copy and urged everyone I knew to watch it. It presented ideas that were totally new to me and did so in a fun and engaging way. She broke through the patriarchal closed cult who suggests that global economics are too complicated for most of us to understand. She told her inspirational personal story of discovery and made the complex issues both clear and compelling. And she suggested we each have a vital role in changing this system that isn’t serving us well.
I never would have imagined that years later my full-time work would be focused on advancing alternative economic indicators, but even then I knew that her analysis and activism would shape my approach to all that I did in the future.
I am glad to see that Ms. Hunt had a similar experience when reading Ms. Warring’s compelling text. Check out Tara’s brief article including this, “The core argument of the book is that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other measurements of national wealth favor economic practices that work against women (they don’t take into account unpaid labor and childcare) and the environment (safe drinking water, for instance, is worthless). And the book concludes that the current system of measurements needs to be reformed to account for invisible, intangible, unpaid labor, public, and environmental health — amongst more factors. Without measuring these other factors and how they contribute to national wealth, we undervalue them. And when we undervalue these factors, we don’t consider them in our planning or policy making.”
Please let us know what books, videos, poems, songs, etc, have influenced you. Post in the comments section and help us get the conversation rolling. Share this with other to spread the word about the need to move #BeyondGDP.
We are not alone and our vision of a better future is taking shape quietly all over the world. Watch out… BIG changes are coming.