The Good Country Equation by Simon Anholt: Why You Should Read This Book

Earlier this year we published an interview with Simon Anholt on "Place Branding 2.0" and his work on the good country idea. It's with delight that I can share with you that his new book, The Good Country Equation - How We Can Repair the World in One Generation, is now published and available for you to read.

And what a book it is! I almost missed a call and ignored my emails for the better of a day (never happens to me), joining Simon on his travels and encounters around the world.

As someone who has - like him - been fascinated by what we colloquially (and perhaps, confusingly) still often refer to as "place branding" - more precisely the mastery of nurturing the image and identity of nations, cities, regions and their communities, it is truly rewarding to read how his ideas on the matter have evolved and how his thinking has changed - now all coming together and maturing in The Good Country Equation.

Together with Robert Govers' recent book on Imaginative Communities, The Good Country Equation is easily among the most inspiring and enjoyable books I have read on the topic.

I could go on and on about the book but won't, as I think it is more interesting to hear from the author himself: why he wrote it and how he hopes it will change our perceptions of places and our visions of a world not too far from now.

Simon, a few months ago we already discussed the importance of the Good Country concept - at a time when the coronavirus pandemic had already started, but was in no way as bad as it is now. How have more recent developments added to your sense of urgency that a stronger focus on being (perceived as) a good country in the community of nations is necessary?

Well let me say first of all that being perceived as a good country is inseparable from being a good country (I define a Good Country as one that successfully harmonises its domestic and international responsibilities). Any government that attempts to create the perception of contributing to the international community without actually doing so won’t get very far.

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Founder and editor of The Place Brand Observer. Believes in the power of storytelling to connect people, to spread ideas and to make this world a better place for all. Impact entrepreneur and founder of the Sustainability Leaders Project.