Building Wellbeing Together Weekend Programme

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The Building Wellbeing Together Weekend will offer a range of inspiring key note speakers and participatory workshops, plus time outside, creative expression, mindfulness practices and opportunities for participants to share their own ideas and expertise. 

The Weekend will start from 4pm on Friday 22nd September and close around 4.30pm on Sunday 24th September. You can download the programme - including all timings - here [pdf link], and check out full descriptions of the Weekend’s workshops and talks below (listed in the order they appear on the full programme). You can also read biographies of all key note speakers here.

Key Note Speakers:

Five Shifts For The Wellbeing Revolution: Chris Johnstone (pictured)

Back in the Twentieth Century, a hundred times as many research articles were written about sadness and depression than happiness and joy. The first shift is in our direction of gaze, widening our focus to include not just problems to address, but also a positive vision of what we want to move towards. The second shift is in emphasis, from healthcare delivery (by experts to the public) to health care practice (engaged in by us all). This talk by positive psychology expert Chris Johnstone describes how these two shifts are joined by three others to represent a profound and wide-ranging change, a revolution indeed, in our approach to wellbeing.

Provoking Wellbeing for Citizens: Karen Creavin

Birmingham City Council has been developing a behaviour change approach as a way of working to tackle inequalities and provoke wellbeing outcomes for its citizens, especially those in the most need. Karen will explain the model and how it relates to the Five Ways to Wellbeing, as well as give practical examples of ways to amplify the wellbeing agenda in a political context.

Exploring the Connection Between Wellbeing and Economics - Katherine Trebeck  

In a world where the dominant measures of progress seem to be creating a misalignment between what people want and what our economic systems deliver, can wellbeing help close the gap? Katherine will explore how the economic system is undermining wellbeing around the world in a range of ways. Discussion will then turn to the potential for wellbeing - in all its diversity - to enable a conversation about a new economic system. What this system might entail and how it can be purposed for wellbeing will be explored with some practical examples.

Interactive Workshops:

Science of Happiness: Michelle Preston, Simply Happy

This workshop is a general introduction for people who want to know more about the science of happiness and wellbeing and who want to know how to apply it to lead happier lives. Introducing evidence based research - including Martin Seligman’s “PERMA”model and the NEF “Five Ways to Wellbeing”.

Brave New Work: Sherry Clark, Happiness Works

We spend one-third of our adult lives at work. But unlike previous generations, hours aren’t restricted to 9-to-5, jobs are definitely not for life, and lunch-breaks, when possible, are more likely to be used to check Twitter feeds than to feed yourself. If work is now consuming most of our waking lives, what can we do more of, as individuals, teams and organisations, to make this brave new world of work as positive and life-affirming as possible? Bring your thoughts, ideas and experience – and we’ll use some of the latest thinking behind workplace wellbeing to create our own manifesto for happier work! 

Gross National Happiness - A Vision from Bhutan that is Going Global: Felipe Viveros, Gross National Happiness Centre

A workshop for those who want to learn more about Gross National Happiness (GNH) and how it can be applied in a UK context. GNH is the guiding philosophy of Bhutan, a small himalayan kingdom that since the 1970s has been trying out a new development paradigm that sees the happiness of human beings and all life forms as the reason and purpose of development. This workshop will explore how GNH is applied and share practices that contribute to our own happiness and wellbeing. During this workshop, we will also examine how GNH can be applied in different countries and contexts outside of Bhutan, including in the UK. 

How to Create a Happier, Kinder and more Playful World: Shamash Alidina, Museum of Happiness

This workshop is for ‘Happiness Changemakers’, which Shamash defines as people that are interested in transforming the world in a positive way, but also deeply interested in personal care and transformation. With so many social enterprise staff, charity workers and many others working in caring professions suffering from burnout, there needs to be a combined inner and outer happiness revolution to create transformation in the world that is sustainable and, dare we say it, even fun! In this talk and workshop, learn more about what a happiness changemaker means for you, and learn about the work of Shamash and his team: starting both the world’s first Museum of Happiness and running a Happier World Conference and community. This workshop will include experiential exercises to bring the topic to life. Be willing to mediate, laugh and stretch!

Grow Your Own Happiness - The Gardener’s Way: Alan Heeks, Natural Happiness

Explore what you can learn from organic gardening to cultivate your own wellbeing. This workshop will use Hawkwood College’s gardens as a live learning model: for example, see how you can compost your stress, use natural energy sources, and value your wild margins. Alan has evolved this approach by leading groups at two nature-based centres he has founded: Magdalen Farm and Hazel Hill Wood, and writing about and practicing Natural Happiness.

Language Matters: Rebecca Mellor, Creative Wellbeing

How does language impact on the delivery and development of wellbeing providers? How can we use language and words to develop individual wellbeing and community interaction? This session will include a brief introduction to the social enterprise Creative Wellbeing, the language which informs its provision and the ethos behind it. This will include an interactive 'Writing for Wellbeing' workshop encouraging the sharing of ideas and exploring the potential for diverse responses from set stimuli. Please bring an open mind, pen and paper, and your imagination!

How to Get People to Take Action: Alex Nunn, Action for Happiness

Since it was launched by the Dalai Lama in September 2015, Action for Happiness' Exploring What Matters programme has mobilised over 300 community activists to inspire local community action on wellbeing. In this session, we'll explore how elements of trust, empowerment and peer coaching can be used to create community interventions that ripple under their own steam. A chance to experience a little of what Exploring What Matters is all about and how we can motivate people to take the actions that matter most for a happier and kinder world.

Can You Be Happy When Others Aren’t? Duncan Fraser, Useful and Kind Unlimited

This workshop will help you to explore reconciling our own happiness with those of others. This will include exploring how we can use Metta meditation to inform social action. The workshop will also look at making the world better while acknowledging social change is often beyond one person and beyond a life time, but we can nonetheless use our focusing and our loving attention for positive change. 

Community Wellbeing: Mike Zeidler, Happy City Initiative, and Larch Maxey, Network of Wellbeing (NOW)

This workshop will share experiences about the best ways the facilitators have found to help people grow their own community initiatives.  The problem that will be addressed is the tendency for good projects to wither and die out once the people who planted the seeds have gone. Mike and Larch aim to walk our talk in this session, so it should be interesting, engaging and participative fun for everyone involved - facilitators included!

Join us and spread the word! 

Ticket details can be found here, and please help to spread the word about this event via the Facebook event and #WellbeingTogether hash tag on Twitter. We hope to see you in September!