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Good Country Index for a less selfish world includes Fair Trade as indicator

Simon Anholt, a former politics professor and brand management guru, has launched the Good Country Index at the TEDSalon in Berlin in June 2014. The index ranks countries according to 7 themes, and includes the size of the market share of Fairtrade certified products as one of the criteria for assessing the level of prosperity and equality in a country.

The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple: to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away. Using a wide range of data from the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations, each country receives a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it’s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between. Ireland and Finland come on top; Libya is rock bottom.

As explained in the website, the index considers “good” as the opposite of “selfish”, not the opposite of “bad”. The Good Country Index does not want to make moral judgments: measures, as objectively as possible, what each country contributes to the common good, and what it takes away.

The measure is based on 35 datasets broken down into seven areas, such as technology, health and culture, prosperity and equality. The latter includes Fair Trade market size relative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to Fairtrade International data and the ‘most good’ countries under these criteria are Ireland and Switzerland.

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In November 2014 Simon Anholt also founded a party called the Good Country Party. It has, so far, no logo or headquarters or manifesto. It is based on a simple premise: he argues that globalisation, the great shaping idea of our time, has so far been driven entirely by corporations and technology; popular politics has failed to create super-national spaces or structures to balance and counter those forces, or find solutions to the problems they create. The Good Country Party will be, in his opinion, the first such place.

The party is dedicated to the people worldwide who see global issues as equally or more important than national issues; who are more concerned with international co-operation and human progress than with domestic politics; and who are unwilling to define themselves as ‘right-wing’, ‘left-wing’ or by any other traditional ideological label. The Good Country Party aims to be a forum, shared learning space, think-tank and focal point for the collective action of ‘global citizens’ worldwide. Membership of the party is free and open to anyone, anywhere, of any age.

The slogan of Simon Anholt is “we tried it your way, and it didn’t work. Let’s try something new”.


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