Snapshots: Vienna Hosts Bhutan’s Tho Ha Vinh on ‘Gross National Happiness’

| January 30, 2015
Tho Ha Vinh at Webster Vienna Private University

Dr. Tho Ha Vinh of the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan speaks at Webster Vienna.

Webster Vienna welcomed to campus Tho Ha Vinh, the program director of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre in Bhutan, to give an overview of the concept of GNH.

His talk on Jan. 22 drew about 60 people to hear about the implementation of this alternative paradigm for economic development in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and the importance of taking happiness and well-being into account in any measurement of development.

Ha Vinh, formerly head of training at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and founder with his wife, Lisi, of the Eurasia Foundation and Association, has spent most of his professional life in education with a special focus on meeting the needs of people with disabilities, addressing ways as well of creating communities with and for these groups who are so often marginalized in our society. He explained at the beginning of his talk that he came to study happiness through encountering the great suffering caused by war and natural disasters in his work for the ICRC.

It was, as hoped, a very diverse audience, including students, faculty, alumni, journalists, prospective students and faculty, some of our Webster’s new neighbors in Vienna‚Äôs second district, and others who had read about the talk in one of the daily newspapers or heard about it on Austrian radio.

Originally conceived by alumna and adjunct faculty member Elisabeth Cassels-Brown, the idea was quickly taken on board and implemented by Webster Vienna’s academic director Regina Kecht, department head for General Education Dorothy Kopel, campus director Arthur Hirsh, and special assistant to the director Allison Snowden, who all executed the event with quick turnaround and attention to detail that made it an enriching one for all involved.

See more photos from the event in this album on Webster Vienna’s Facebook page.

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Category: Campus Snapshots, International & U.S. Campuses

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