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Good Book Club: Good Country Equation

1 October, 2020

Author, Simon Anholt, arrived at our offices ten years ago, with a simple, powerful insight, a brilliant initiative, and a bunch of proven ideas that could genuinely change the world we live in.  

We have stayed friends ever since and have tried, without much luck, to help him find partners to turn his concepts into action. He has now written a book of the journey, with the aim of using it as a platform to offer those ideas to the world (for the affordable price of $20 – who knew world peace could come so cheaply?

Back to that insight that caught our eye all those years ago…

Simon had found that there were at least 850 million people in the world (1/10th of the world’s population) who care as much about the world (if not more) than they do about the country which they come from. Contrast that with the fact that politicians everywhere spend nearly all their time focused on their domestic agenda.

This led to the creation of the Good Country Index – a way of mapping how much countries do for the world, in order to challenge Governments and policy-makers to think and act more globally. As the book explains, those that do take up this global viewpoint, especially when they work in collaboration with others, help themselves as well as the world – ‘enlightened self-interest’.

This strikes a chord, as it was a much-used phrase at the beginning of the corporate responsibility movement (and with companies the size of countries, there is much to learn in this book for both).

The book is also a thoroughly good read – much of it personal reflections (which make it so much more interesting than the majority of academic and business tomes). It also doesn’t fall into the classic trap of most non-fiction books (including ours) of summarising the book in the first chapter – removing much motivation for reading further. This one is a grower, so stick with it. And, most importantly, if you want to talk to Simon about any of the ideas in the book, please get in touch, we would happily introduce you. I can guarantee it will be a most useful hour of your day. Follow this link to get your hands on a copy.

By Giles Gibbons

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