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  The Herman Trend Alert

August 15, 2018

What is a "Good Country"?

Having worked with numerous heads of state and heads of governments, helping their countries to engage more productively and imaginatively, TED Talk presenter Simon Anholt realized a new index was needed. Having published several books about countries and their role in the world, he produces two major global surveys, tracking public perceptions of countries and cities.

A new way to think about countries
Anholt theorized this new index should look at "what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, relative to its size". He called it the Good Country Index.

What the Good Country Index measures
The idea is fairly easy: look at "what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, relative to its size." By analyzing a range of data from the United Nations and other international organizations, they give each country a balance-sheet that shows whether it's a net creditor or debtor to mankind.

Not a moral judgment
Simply stated, "A Good Country is a nation state that contributes more to the greater good of humanity than it takes away." Of course, it is okay for a country to serve the interests of its own people, however it should do so without hurting the interests of people in other countries too.

What the index does not measure
Not included in this index are all the ways that countries are helping their own citizens. The index seeks to help countries balance their responsibility to their own citizens

The Good Country Index doesn't measure what countries do at home
This isn't because we think these things are unimportant, of course, but because there are plenty of surveys that already measure them. What the Index does aim to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world.

Countries respecting each other?
Will our better angels win out over our evil ones? Not as long as people see themselves as "separate". We hope that the tide changes soon, but as long as countries continue to put self-interest ahead of being "good countries".


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