Stories from the ‘Kitchen Front’

There is a powerful moment near the end of Marilyn Waring’s wonderful TED talk in which she eviscerates the GDP as the only way to measure our economy. People often ask why she doesn’t develop a system of accounts that measures the whole cake and not just the icing (the GDP). Her answer? “I do not want the most valuable things on earth, the things I treasure, sitting in an accounting framework that thinks that war is great for growth.”

Recently I was looking at some lesser-known stories about how war forces societal change. Many of these stories come out of the kind of values she is talking about – the ones not measured in the national accounts. War is not just about soldiers, tanks, bombs and battles. In the 2019 TED talk given by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, you get a sense of what the world could look like if we focus on peace and well-being instead.

“I’m determined that Scotland will also be the country that helps change the focus of countries and governments across the world to put well-being at the heart of everything that we do. I think we owe that to this generation. I certainly believe we owe that to the next generation and all those that come after us.”

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