A new documentary called The Economics of Happiness connects the dots between our consumer culture, environmental degradation and diminishing levels of satisfaction in life. There’s no mainstream release yet, but the film is following a unique kind of self distribution with screenings popping up all over the country. Here’s a trailer and a longer clip to whet your appetite. The film carries a timely message, the importance of localization to build genuine happiness, stability and sustainability, delivered by a luminous ensemble of visionaries. If you like what you see, help the film make an impact by setting up a screening in your area. I’m sure no group is too small and it’s a great excuse to gather friends!

If you really want to be inspired: Bhutan. A tiny Himalayan kingdom, closed to visitors until the ’70’s, where the king first declared that the national priority would be Gross National Happiness and then abdicated his power to make Bhutan the world’s newest democracy.

Looks like industrialized nations might be getting curious about how a society that puts people’s happiness first would look.Yes Magazine on the evolution of the GDP toward something more accurately representative of the impacts of our economic activities and more focused on the elements that lead to greater satisfaction for people.

photo by Balance Has Sides