The two-day conference looked at different notions of ‘progress’, and discussed and explored the need for compassionate economics – an ‘economics of happiness’ – and what we can do to achieve it.
We looked at the many inspiring examples of people working to build vibrant local economies – both around the world and in Ladakh itself. We explored different strategies to counter the onslaught of the corporate-led global economy in India and abroad. The event provided a big-picture framework that unites political/economic action with inner/spiritual change.
A major focus was on strategies that can strengthen and renew Ladakh's local economy and food systems, while addressing some of the region's most serious problems, including: the mountains of waste caused by the exponential growth of tourism and the spread of consumer culture; climate change; new “modern” health problems; the loss of cultural self-esteem; the threats to traditional Ladakhi farming systems and the growing dependence on imported industrial foods.
The programme included a mix of activities: plenary talks, panels, workshops, world café-style and open space discussions, creative spaces, music and celebration.