Further Reading
Everything I Have Learned About Values

This slender book is a rare gift: a distilled compilation of the most profound insights that the ever-brilliant Richard Barrett has accumulated over decades of path-breaking work. If every individual and organisation used Richard’s frameworks to guide their actions, our world would be a blessed place.

Raj Sisodia, FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business, Babson College, Co-founder & Chairman Emeritus, Conscious Capitalism Inc., USA.

The GCI was created by combining seventeen well-established national indicators and allocating each indicator to one of the Seven Levels of Consciousness. The indicators used for each level of consciousness are shown in the Table 2. In most cases, the indicators provide a complete portrayal of the essence of the level of consciousness; in other cases, they represent a close approximation. The GCI has been calculated for 145 nations

Table 1: Global indicators used for each level of consciousness

 
The most conscious nations

The nations with the highest GCI scores are shown in Table 2. The top six nations, apart from Switzerland, are all Scandinavian countries. These six nations scored highly across all levels of consciousness.

Table 2: The most conscious nations

The score for Finland is ten points higher than the other Scandinavian nations, which, together with Switzerland and New Zealand are between ten and twenty points higher than Canada, Australia and Luxembourg. The UK and US rank at #15 and #17 respectively. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #50, Russia #101, India #110 and China #92.

 
Level 1: Survival consciousness

The nations with the highest GCI scores at level 1 consciousness are shown in Table 3. The focus of level 1 consciousness is on survival: access/quality of health services, and the level of transparency/corruption and economic performance. Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden all rank in the top ten. Iceland, which went bankrupt in 2008, is noticeably absent from the top ten. Iceland currently ranks at #18 in terms of economic performance. The UK and USA rank at #12 and #19 respectively. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #59, Russia #91, India #90 and China #46.

Table 3: The highest scoring nations at level 1 consciousness

 
Level 2: Safety consciousness

The nations with the highest GCI scores at level 2 consciousness are shown in Table 4. The focus of level 2 consciousness is on safety and relationships: personal safety/security of citizens and the level of peace/violence in the nation. Sweden, Norway and Finland are notably absent from the top ten at this level of consciousness. They rank at #12, #14 and #15 respectively. The UK and US rank at #26 and #65 respectively. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #96, Russia #135, India #131 and China #88.

Table 4: The highest scoring nations at level 2 consciousness

 
Level 3: Security consciousness

The nations with the highest GCI scores at level 3 consciousness are shown in Table 5. The focus of level 3 consciousness is on long-term fundamental security and self-esteem: access/quality of education and quality of the enabling business environment. Denmark, Sweden and Iceland are notably absent from the top ten. They rank at #11, #14 and #22 respectively. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #87, Russia #35, India #96 and China #42.

Table 5: The highest scoring nations at level 3 consciousness

 
Level 4: Freedom consciousness

The nations with the highest GCI scores at level 4 consciousness are shown in Table 6. The focus of level 4 consciousness is on freedom/equality: individual freedom, level of democracy, press freedom and gender equality. These are the nations with the strongest democratic foundation. All the Scandinavian nations rank in the top ten. The UK and USA rank at #16 and #24 respectively. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #53, Russia #133, India #63 and China #135.

Table 6: The highest scoring nations at level 4 consciousness

 
Level 5: Social cohesion consciousness

The nations with the highest GCI scores at level 5 consciousness are shown in Table 7. The focus of level 5 consciousness is on internal cohesion: social cohesion among the citizens of the nation and social progress regarding the integration and tolerance of people of different ethnicities, religions or sexual orientation. All of the Scandinavian nations except Sweden rank in the top ten. Sweden ranks at #11. The US and UK rank #12 and #18 respectively. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #40, Russia #123, India #128 and China #136.

Table 7: The highest scoring nations at level 5 consciousness

 
Level 6: Environmental consciousness

The nations with the highest GCI scores at level 6 consciousness are shown in Table 8. The focus of level 6 consciousness is on environmental sustainability: health/quality of the natural environment and preservation/sustainability efforts. All of the Scandinavian nations except Denmark rank in the top ten. Denmark ranks at #14. The US ranks at #27. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #33, Russia #37, India #145 and China #124.

Table 8: The highest scoring nations at level 6 consciousness

 
Level 7: Life satisfaction consciousness

The nations with the highest GCI scores at level 7 consciousness are shown in Table 9. The focus of level 7 consciousness is on overall life conditions: governance/human rights and citizens’ level of life satisfaction. All the Scandinavian nations rank in the top ten. The US and UK rank at #16 and #17 respectively. The BRIC nations rank as follows: Brazil #56, Russia #116, India #92 and China #78.

Table 9: The highest scoring nations at level 7 consciousness

 
Maslow’s deficiency needs

The first three levels of consciousness approximate to Abraham Maslow’s deficiency needs: survival (physical and economic), relationships (personal safety) and self-esteem (long-term fundamental security). We get anxious and fearful if these needs are not met, but once they are met we no longer pay attention to them. Table 10 shows the nations with the highest aggregate score for the first three levels of consciousness. The top three nations with regard to taking care of people’s basic needs are Switzerland, New Zealand and Singapore.

Table 10: The nations that are best at taking care of people’s overall deficiency needs

 
Maslow’s growth needs

The upper three levels of consciousness approximate to Abraham Maslow’s growth needs: self-actualization (self-expression), integration (connecting to make a difference) and service (selfless service). When these needs are met, we want more. Table 11 shows the nations with the highest aggregate score for the upper three levels of consciousness. The top three nations with regard to taking care of people’s growth needs are Finland, Iceland and Denmark.

Table 11: The nations that are best at taking care of people’s growth needs

 
Global and regional issues

I have divided the world into six regions. These are shown in Table 12. The number in parenthesis in column 1 indicates the number of nations for which there is a full set of GCI data in that region. The scores in the table which are surrounded by boxes or are underlined are the highest and lowest scoring levels of consciousness in each region, respectively.

Table 12: World and regional GCI scores for each level of consciousness

 
Conclusions

There are six main conclusions I draw from the analysis of the GCI results.

• The primacy of personal safety (Level 2 consciousness).

• The neglect of social cohesion/integration (Level 5 consciousness).

• The neglect of human rights and life satisfaction (Level 7 consciousness).

• The neglect of freedom and equality (Level 4 consciousness).

• The primacy of education and the business environment (Level 3 consciousness).

• Good news about the physical environment (Level 6 consciousness).

• Survival is still a significant issue in the Africa region (Level 1 consciousness).

Personal Safety

At the world level, personal safety—level 2 consciousness—is seen as the most important national priority. It is seven points higher than the second priority—level 3 consciousness—long-term personal security through access to and quality of education and the enabling business environment. Level 3 consciousness is approximately 2.5 points higher than the third priority—level 6 consciousness—the health and quality of the natural environment and preservation and sustainability efforts.

Social cohesion/integration

At the world level, social cohesion among the citizens of a nation and social progress regarding the integration and tolerance of people of different ethnicities, religions or sexual orientation—level 5 consciousness—is as the lowest priority in nations. It is over 19 points lower than the highest priority. The regions where social cohesion/integration is a major issue are MENA (34.58), Africa (37.61) and Asia (40.46). This are also problems with social cohesion/integration in the Americas (56.46) and Europe (56.50).

Human rights and life satisfaction

At the world level, human rights and life satisfaction—level 7 consciousness—is the second lowest priority in nations. The regions where this issue is most acute are Africa (33.19), MENA (46.24) and Asia (47.85). This is not a pressing issue in the Americas (61.74) and Europe (65.20) but scores low enough to warrant some attention. The only region where this is non-issue is Australasia (88.30).

Freedom and equality

At the world level, freedom and equality—level 4 consciousness—is the third lowest priority in nations. Level 4 consciousness in the MENA region is the lowest scoring level of consciousness in the world (28.37). In addition, this is a significant issue in Asia (42.54) and Africa (43.56). It is not a pressing issue in the Americas (62.22) and Europe (69.63), but scores low enough to warrant some attention. Freedom and equality—level 4 consciousness—is the lowest scoring level of consciousness in the Australasia region (80.73).

Education and the business environment

At the world level, education and the business environment—level 3 consciousness—is seen as the second most important national priority. This level scores approximately 2.5 points higher than the third most important priority, the physical environment—level 6 consciousness. Africa is the lowest scoring region at level 3 consciousness with a score of (37.53). The highest scoring regions at this level of consciousness are Australasia (95.35) and Europe (75.34).

The environment

At the world level, the health and quality of the natural environment, and preservation and sustainability efforts—level 6 consciousness—is the third most important priority. This is good news. The lowest scoring regions at level 6 consciousness are Africa (37.58), MENA (47.37) and Asia (47.41). Level 6 consciousness is 2.25 points higher than the next highest priority—level 1 consciousness.

Survival

The Africa region is the only region where survival—level 1 consciousness—is the most significant issue. It is the lowest scoring level of consciousness in the Africa region. It is the second most important issue in the Americas.

The key issues in each region

Table 13 summarizes the primary and secondary issues in each region. The number in parenthesis is the number of nations for which GCI data was available in that region.

The key issue in Europe, the Americas and Asia is social cohesion/integration. The key issue in Australasia and MENA is freedom and equality, but not to the same degree—Australasia scores 52.03 points higher than MENA at this level of consciousness. The key issue in Sub-Saharan Africa is Survival.

Table 13: The primary and secondary issues in the regions of the world

 

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