Fifty years ago today, then-US Presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy delivered a stirring speech at the University of Kansas in which he noted how core measures of national wellbeing exclude factors such as child health, quality of education, or even the beauty of poetry. He said of the Gross National Product, “It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”
In Kim Samuel’s newest article, “Making our Metrics Count”, she highlights why the core metrics we track must encompass much more than economic growth. If we continue to prioritize production over purpose, commercial activity over connection, we lose sight of what really makes life worth living. If we value community, inclusion and social connectedness, for example, we need to develop indicators and policy drivers that reflect these values.