Renata Kowalczyk of Bellingham spent five days in Bhutan in October 2012 after trekking for two weeks in the Himalayas in Nepal.
"I became fascinated with Bhutan two years ago when I learned how in the early 1970s the young 16-year-old Fourth King set new economic standards for the world by establishing Gross National Happiness (GNH) instead of Gross National Product," she says. "The concept of GNH has often been explained by its four pillars: good governance, sustainable socioeconomic development, cultural preservation and environmental conservation.
"As a trained economist and former Wall Street consultant, I was intrigued by the existence of data-driven standards to measure not just the economic growth but economic impact on society and the planet."
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