Well-Being index


The idea is to replace the GDP index which measures our Gross Domestic Product with a Well-Being Index. Some say that when governments are judged on metrics like the GDP, which are based on consumption this does little to promote more sustainable policies that benefit people. For example GDP increases when there are disasters as more resources are used. It is argued that measuring well-being instead would allow governments to be judged on broader criteria which will lead to more sustainable policies. David Cameron considered this idea in 2010 –¬†https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/nov/14/david-cameron-wellbeing-inquiry¬†

There is a great article that discusses the revolutionary impact of switching our metrics from GDP to well-being in positive news  








 Story ideas

Think how you can include this policy in a story e.g. you can make it the focus of the story, or include it more indirectly:

Focus of story

Perhaps you could write a story about the implementation of the idea of a well-being/happiness index from the perspective of a government minister e.g. why he/she thought it was a good idea, what difficulties he/she faced getting it through. David Cameron had a similar idea¬†https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-wellbeing but then the media accused him of trying to distract the people from economic recession by changing the metrics, so he didn’t see it through. To make it a good story you would have to focus on the characters and the obstacles they overcome so it doesn’t become too detailed and boring.


Imagine how changing from measuring success by production (GDP) to measuring success by measures of well-being such as happiness, biodiversity, climate change, health, suicides etc. would affect the kinds of policies that governments would pursue. Then think of who that might affect and how. You can construct a story around characters who are affected by these policy changes. If success was measured by how happy people are rather than just production or economic factors, the government would be very concerned to ensure statistics on things like depression and suicides kept going down.

In background

Here your story can be about anything you like but you can indirectly showcase this idea for example by a character hearing news broadcasts or the radio relating to responses to changes in the Happiness Index. But to make it work you’d have to tie it in to the plot or the dialogue in some way so it doesn’t seem random and jarring.