The Hampton Roads Chamber in partnership with Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business presented; “Virtual Chamber Strome Business Series - A New Emerging Economy of Well-Being in a 'Pandemic' Economic Situation”. The Hampton Roads Chamber welcomed Mark Anielski, a well-being economist and an international expert in natural capital accounting and alternative measures of progress, including happiness and well-being indices.
President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber, Bryan K. Stephens, opened the virtual event by expressing gratitude to be partnering with the Strome Business School. “We are honored to collaborate with Dean Jeff Tanner and the ODU Strome Business School to bring you this series. This series truly hits our mission – to be an inspiring ignitor.” – Stephens.
“The Pandemic is an important wake-up call.” Anielski stated as he began his presentation. “It took a health crisis to realize that there’s another path [to success] than more GDP growth”. He then went on to discuss how he believes happiness and well-being play such a defining role in how we should be measuring economic success. “The GDP does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play… it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” – Anielski.
To discover how we should be measuring a well-being economy, Anielski first posed the question “What is happiness?” By breaking down the origins of the word happiness itself, Aneilski was able to put together criteria of what makes for a happy, fulfilled person. By using this criteria, Aneilski created the Genuine Wealth Model which asks a region to define a goal for their economy, but then center that goal around the values of the community.
When asked by participant Joe Antle how businesses and employers can bring a positive change to their employees, Anielski’s answer was quite simple. “The best interest of the business and employer is to better the conditions for the employees and the communities. This can look like a livable wage and doing the most to make the job and employee have meaning. No one wants to go home and feel meaningless”.
Dean Tanner then asked Anielski how the data revealing what the regions’ values can be used to move forward in economic recovery and planning. Anielski answered the question by stressing the importance of listening to the community in open discussions. Talk to the community about what they feel the issues are and how they’d like to see change to effect.
After an interesting and inspiring discussion, the event came to the close with closing remarks from Stephens and Tanner. “Thank you Mark, you’ve given us a lot of inspiration and things to think about going forward.” – Dean Tanner.
Thank you to Atlantic Union Bank for being the Chamber Strome Business Series Presenting Sponsor.