Our mission is to inspire a holistic, balanced and inclusive approach to development based on human happiness and the wellbeing of all life forms.
The New Development Paradigm offers a transformative vision and practical pathways for genuinely holistic, sustainable and inclusive social progress. It gives a higher purpose to development than just economic growth by recognising the interdependence of all life on Earth.
The New Development Paradigm initiative is a collaboration between the Royal Government of Bhutan and International Expert Working Group contributors offering a wide range of expertise from around the world.
The convergence of Bhutan’s GNH-inspired experience of development with the urgent global search for a new equitable model of progress offers the UN a viable post-2015 agenda for the world.
"Gross National Happiness has come to mean so many things to so many people, but to me it signifies simply - development with values."
- His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan
"At this turning point in our relationship with Earth, we work for an evolution: from dominance to partnership; from fragmentation to connection; from insecurity to interdependence."
- David Suzuki, IEWG member
"The old model is broken. We need to create a new one…(to) unite around a shared vision for the future – a vision for equitable human development, a healthy planet, an enduring economic dynamism."
- Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
Sustainability, wellbeing and happiness are interdependent. Without happiness, there can be no appreciation of the beauty and preciousness of life and our natural world. And, without wellbeing, happiness can never be. So, likewise, wellbeing, that may otherwise come at the cost of planetary wellbeing, can only be moderated by considerations of sustainability and happiness.
Happiness involves a deep abiding sense of harmony with the natural world, of compassion, contentment and joy, is not just a private yearning. It is a universal goal.
. . . and the foundation for happiness is wellbeing. Wellbeing is not about accumulating material wealth. It is about good health, knowledge, peace, security and justice, equality and meaningful relationships. These are the essential conditions for freedom and the ability to pursue happiness - that ultimate state of being which is the true measure of human civilization.
With the fulfillment of the NDP initiative mandate, the Secretariat is officially closed as of 30th September 2014. All resources generated for the initiative will continue to be on the NDP website, which will remain active until 25th June 2019.
Bhutan’s New Development Paradigm (NDP) initiative is part of the worldwide effort to help define a new and more viable post-2015 global development agenda. The report, Happiness: Towards a New Development Paradigm was submitted to the UN in December 2013. The NDP is grounded in the principles of Gross National Happiness – the unique vision of human development first proposed by the 4th King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in the early 1970s when he declared that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.”
Gross National Happiness (GNH) proposes that responsible development is characterized by the right balance between equitable and sustainable livelihood, ecological conservation, good governance and a dynamic and thriving culture. This, in turn, fosters the sense of sufficiency and contentment which promotes harmony and connectedness with nature, others and ourselves – the essence of true happiness. The human aspiration for happiness transcends all the dividing contours of society and has the power to unite all of humanity.
Through the NDP initiative, Bhutan hopes to inspire a more holistic, balanced and inclusive approach to development, which recognises the interdependent nature of reality and the inescapable connectedness of human happiness and wellbeing with the wellbeing of all life on our precious and finite planet.