Jun 30 Thu 6.30pm New America Anu Partanen Gross National Happiness: The Nordic Search for a Better Life with Sanjay Reddy and Liza Mundy

Another demonstration, along with Michael Moore’s revelatory masterpiece Where to Invade Next, of how difficult those who are plugged into the current economy in Manhattan through family or job find it to realize fully how much is lacking here in non-commercial life on the personal, social and spiritual level, perhaps, but this panel sparked by a very fine and readable book by a Finnish author who moved here to work and marry seemed to indicate that once again Americans of this type are roused more to argue than benefit from books and films telling them what is socioeconomically lacking here, despite the fact that homegrown and visiting columnists and commentators have provided abundant enlightenment over the past ten years on the topic, and current electoral politics reflects a wide sense abroad that all is not well, and issues like prison reform are on the front burner, so it was disappointing that the panel didn’t celebrate more enthusiastically the quality and enlightenment offered by Anu in The Nordic Theory of Everything, which like Michael Moore’s documentary is a fine discussion of how small Northern European countries outdo the US in many aspects of social welfare, and a well written mix of ideas and personal experience.

Michael Moore is not wrong – life is better in Scandinavia says Anu Partanen here to stay from Finland and the UN agrees

Gross National Happiness:
The Nordic Search for a Better Life

The Nordics know how to do it

Gross National Happiness: The Nordic Search for a Better Life

The American Dream is in big trouble. The promise of social mobility and progress was once a cornerstone of American society, yet today, it seems like we’re moving the other way – financial insecurity, weak work and family policies, and growing rates of depression and disillusionment.
But the American Dream is flourishing, if not at home, in another part of the world: the Nordic countries. According to the 2016 UN World Happiness Report, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Finland rank as the top five, while the US has fallen to 13th. But how is this measured and, perhaps more importantly, why is it even worth examining?

The Nordic Theory of Everything, a new book by Finnish journalist and naturalized American citizen Anu Partanen, finds that the entrenched behaviors of our own government, employers, and even fellow citizens are stunting our own shot at a better quality of life. Partanen debunks the criticism that Nordic countries are socialist “nanny states” and reveals instead that Americans are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. Borrowing Nordic ideas might be our best chance at getting the American society we want.

Join New America for a conversation with Anu Partanen and other work and life experts to unpack the economic and social policies, from education to entrepreneurship, that put Nordic countries so far ahead – and how US can catch back up.


Anu Partanen @anupartanen
Author, The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search For A Better Life

sanjay reddy

sanjay reddy

Sanjay Reddy @sanjaygreddy
Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research
Member, Independent High-Level Team of Advisers, Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
Sanjay G. Reddy is an Associate Professor of Economics at The New School for Social Research. He is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Politics Department of the New School for Social Research and a research associate of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University. He has previously taught at Columbia University, and been a visitor at diverse academic institutions in India, Europe and the US.

He has held fellowships from the Center for Ethics, the Center for Population and Development Studies at Harvard University, the Center for Human Values at Princeton University, the Justitia Amplificata program of the Goethe University of Frankfurt and Free University of Berlin and, and the Advanced Research Collaborative of the City University of New York. He has received research support from various sources including the inaugural grants program of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

He is a member of the Independent High-level Team of Advisers to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on the longer-term positioning of the UN Development System (in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development). He is one of the co-founders and team leaders of the Global Consumption and Income Project. He has been a member of the advisory panel of the UNDP’s Human Development Report, the UN Statistics Division’s Steering Committee on Poverty Statistics and the advisory board of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. He was elected a Fellow of the Human Development and Capabilities Association. He is or has been a member of the editorial advisory boards of the American Review of Political Economy, Development, Ethics & International Affairs, the European Journal of Development Research, Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric, Humanity, the Journal of Globalization and Development, the Review of Agrarian Studies, the Review of Income and Wealth and was Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. He is a lead author of the International Panel on Social Progress. He was previously Co-Academic Director of the India China Institute at the New School.

He has worked as a researcher, consultant, or expert for development agencies and international institutions, including the G-24 (group of developing countries), the International Labour Organization, Oxfam, the UN Alliance of Civilisations, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Children’s Fund, UN Development Programme, UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research, UN Research Institute for Social Development and the World Bank. His work has been translated into Catalan, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, an M.Phil. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, and an A.B. in applied mathematics with physics from Harvard University.

New America's Liza Mundy

New America’s Liza Mundy

Liza Mundy @lizamundy
Senior Fellow, Better Life Lab, New America
Author, The Richer Sex: How the New Majority Female Breadwinners is Transforming Our Culture
about female code breakers during World War II.

Liza is a journalist and book author who writes widely for publications including the Atlantic, Politico, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and the Guardian. She is a former staff writer for the Washington Post, where her work won a number of awards. Her 2012 book, The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family (Simon and Schuster), was named one of the top non-fiction books of 2012 by the Washington Post, and a noteworthy book by the New York Times Book Review. Her 2008 book, Michelle (Simon and Schuster), a biography of First Lady Michelle Obama, was a New York Times best-seller and has been translated into 16 languages. Her 2007 book, Everything Conceivable (Knopf), received the 2008 Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers as the best book on a science topic written for a general audience. She has appeared on The Colbert Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, MSNBC, CNN, C-Span, Fox News, Democracy Now, Bloggingheads TV, the Leonard Lopate Show, National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, the Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, On Point, and numerous other television and radio shows.

Liza has an AB from Princeton University and an MA in English literature from the University of Virginia. She lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband and two children. At various points she has worked full-time, part-time, all-night, at home, in the office, remotely, in person, on trains, in the car, alone, with other people, in dangerous places, under duress, and while simultaneously making dinner.

Gross National Happiness: The Nordic Search for a Better Life
Thursday, June 30, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EST
156 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor
New York, NY 10010

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New York, New York 10010
Date: 06/30/2016 Add to my calendar
Time: 6:30 PM

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