“The science of happiness can trump GDP as a guide for policy” - The Conversation, April 13, 2016

At a time when global GDP is bound to be structurally lower, this is an important article. The economist (best known for the “Easterlin Paradox”) argues that and explains why happiness could supplant GDP as a measure of societal wellbeing. He offers four reasons as to why happiness should be preferred to GDP. In a nutshell: “Happiness tells us how well a society satisfies the major concerns of people’s everyday life. GDP is a measure limited to one aspect of economic life: the production of material goods.”


“The World Is Getting Fatter and No One Knows How to Stop It” - Bloomberg, April 8, 2016

This article is based on recent findings from a global network of researchers called the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. It contains a lot of very interesting infographics.


“Steve Case: What Leaders Need To Know About The Next Wave Of Tech” - Fortune, April 16, 2016

This is a short interview with Steve Case, who just authored, “The Third Wave – An Entrepreneur’s Vision of The Future.” He defines the “third wave” as the period when the Internet integrates seamlessly and pervasively through every aspect of our lives, “changing how we work, how we learn, how we stay healthy, how we get around, even how we eat.” Many interesting insights including one that may seem contrarian: Governments will be central and “if you can’t figure out how to work with government, you’re likely not going to be a successful Third Wave entrepreneur.”


“Living longer with more disability” - The Atlantic, April 20, 2016

On average, we live longer, but more time isn’t always better - and the question is if humanity is gaining more good years of life. A new study sheds some light on this.


“U.S. suicide rate surges, particularly among white people” - BBC News, April 22, 2016

According to the CDC, the suicide rate in the U.S. has surged to its highest level in almost three decades. The increase is particularly pronounced among middle-aged white people who now account for a third of all U.S. suicides. The increased abuse of prescription opiates and the financial downturn that began in 2008 are likely factors.


A Striking Stat:

"When it comes to obesity, the “Anglo-Saxon” world is hit hardest: More than a quarter (50 million) of the world’s severely obese, and one-fifth (118 million) of the world’s obese adults, live in high-income, English-speaking countries: the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland."

Source: Study published in The Lancet, 4.1.16

AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI