What’s the Good Country?

Most of the world’s problems are really just symptoms of a bigger, underlying problem: that we haven’t yet worked out how to organise ourselves as a single species inhabiting a single planet. This can change.
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Problems like climate change, pandemics, migration, human trafficking, terrorism and economic chaos are multiplying because of globalisation. 

Technology like the internet and aeroplanes connect everyone and everything, so all the good stuff spreads, but so does the bad stuff: 

  • one person with a cold can cause a pandemic 
  • one geek with a laptop can shut down the power grid 
  • one bad bank can bring the global financial system to its knees.

These problems are too big and connected for any one country to fix them. America can’t fix climate change. Italy can’t fix migration. Mexico can’t fix drug trafficking. Greece can’t fix the economic crisis. We need to co-operate and collaborate much more closely if we’re going to make the world work.

But, most of the time, we don’t. Why not?

Because the seven billion people who created all these problems are organised in two hundred tribes called nations. Each one is run by a government that’s totally focused on the national interest: what will make us richer, happier, safer, stronger? They don’t worry too much if that makes others poorer, unhappier, more vulnerable, weaker because, well, they’re foreigners. And foreigners can’t vote.

Can this ever change? Yes it can. It will change when we, the people who keep those governments in power, wake them up and tell them the world has changed, and their jobs have changed with it. 

That foreigners aren’t aliens, they’re humans just like us, and we care about them. 

That countries aren’t islands, unconnected to the rest of the world: they’re all part of one system. If it fails, we all fail. 

There won’t be winners and losers, only losers. And the evidence of that simple truth is accumulating all around us, every day.

That’s why Simon Anholt started the Good Country: to change how our leaders run our countries. To help them understand they’re not just responsible for their own citizens, but for every man, woman, child and animal on the planet. To tell them they’re not just responsible for their own little slice of territory, but for the whole of the earth’s surface and the atmosphere above it. And to help them act like they mean it.

The Good Country isn't an organisation, an NGO, a charity or a company. It's an idea: an idea that needs to spread. 

Some of the tools to help the idea spread have already been launched on this site: the Good Country Index and the Global Vote. We'll keep coming up with new ways of spreading the idea but most of all we'd like to hear yours. Anybody can launch a Good Country project, start a Good Country Party, teach a Good Country course, write a Good Country book, make a Good Country speech, start a Good University, a Good School, a Good Company, a Good Village or even a Good Family. 

Please sign up here for updates, and contact Simon directly if you have a Good Country idea of your own.