As the New Year begins, we have some good news, big and small. The city of Victoria has adopted a bylaw banning businesses from offering single-use plastic bags to consumers starting July 1, 2018. Montreal will also ban plastic shopping bags as of 2018. The province has also banned grizzly bear hunting for trophies and meat, although Indigenous practices will continue.
Moving internationally, French parliamentarians have passed a law banning fossil fuel extraction, which will position the country as a world leader in the switch to renewables. The government plans to stop the sale of diesel and petrol engine cars by 2040 as well.
In 2018, Butan is introducing a Gross National Happiness (CNH) Certification Tool for Business, drawn from their GNH Index that has shaped Bhutanese public policy. The tool comprises a set of indicators, grouped under 9 domains of GNH that cover the impact on workers, consumers, local communities and the company itself. The country is continuing its leadership by now testing whether the country’s efforts to measure happiness can work for business as well.
The BBC is launching a reimagination of the 1969 Civilisation program, a 13-part television series presented by Keneth Clark. Civilisations is set to broadcast on BBC Two, in the spring of 2018, one of its biggest-ever culture projects. The nine-part series, co-produced with PBS is also partnering with museums across Britain to put on complimentary festivals and has commissioned artists, including choreographers and poets, to elicit responses to the big question: what is civilisation?
“Civilisations” will be broadcast at a critical juncture when tribalism and nationalism are on the rise. One of the three presenters, Simon Schama, professor of art history and history at Columbia University, after travelling to 20 countries for the series, is certain that what connects humanity is stronger than what divides it. Please stay tuned.
Image by Jaime Clifton-Ross