inspirational TED talk – Simon Anholt – being good is more important than being best

Today I saw the TED talk by Simon Anholt for the first time, and now I’ve watched it 3 times. It’s brilliant thinking. What he talks about makes absolute sense to me and is  a coming together of other interesting speakers on globalisation, empathy and  collaboration.

John Lennon and ‘Imagine’; ‘Outrospection’ by Roman Krznaric; Flow by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi and Brene Brown come to mind.

Anholt has devised a database that can measure how ‘good’ countries are. It’s important to understand how he defines the term ‘good’.  He believes countries that can be defined as ‘good’ are safer, richer and fairer. Being ‘good’ is about behaving and collaborating, it is the opposite of selfish. He measures the levels by how much a country gives to the world, how much it contributes to humanity. Brilliant.

According to the results, Ireland is the top country. (I am not sure what year he collated his data – I doubt all Irish residents would agree their country is ‘good’ to them at present, since the Celtic tiger scenario……….)

Good is about making a contribution to the rest of humanity, not economy – though those who do contrbute most are more likely to have a stable economy, they come hand-in-hand.

Good as the opposite of selfish.

He refers to ‘a culture of goodness’

This model could be developed to suit all scales, from the individual, to the company, the sector, the country, the world.

It could work.

I would love to promote a culture of goodness – without any religious or moralist judgement – just about humanity.

Anholt suggests that we are, without realising, on some level, cultural sociopaths.  And that is our biggest problem – we treat people from other cultures as cardboard cutouts – we dehumanize them.

One could have a policy of goodness
A goodness strategy
A department of goodness


Published by carolyn black

I'm an artist and also commission contemporary art in unusual locations. As a producer, I fundraise, curate, project manage and deliver projects. I'm also a writer and film-maker.

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