A short animated video exploring how research by CEP (The Centre for Economic Performance at LSE University), directed by Lord Richard Layard, has contributed to establishing happiness as a desirable and measurable goal of public policy in the UK and worldwide.
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This report summarizes the many negative impacts of globalization, followed by a detailed listing of concrete steps – in both the personal and political domains – that can be taken to shift towards the local. It is an update of our previous report, Shifting Directions: From Global Dependence to Local Interdependence.
Wellbeing is a dynamic multidisciplinary concept for a better future. We can see wellbeing as a balance point between resources and challenges, autonomy and intensity, as well as support and demand. Any system to measure, understand, or increase wellbeing must contain multidisciplinary theories and findings, incorporate co-responsibility and appreciative inquiry, and include feedback loops that allow for accurate measurement of the challenges and resources available on any given day. The purpose of this paper is to integrate a new definition of wellbeing with theory and research from multiple disciplines to create a framework for the real practice of measuring wellbeing.
TOWARDS A REGENERATIVE ECONOMY - A report for The Capital Institute by John Fullerton April 2015 It is our view that the exponential growth of compound investment returns demanded by the financial system is in irreconcilable conflict with the finite boundaries of the biosphere. We believe this relentless and narrow pursuit of exponential growth of returns on financial capital, without reference to either the laws of science or to universally acknowledged moral and ethical values, is contributing to an ever-widening and destabilizing wealth gap, and security crises around the globe. Our mission is to provide a new theory grounded in real-world practice and accompanying narrative of the supportive, non-coercive role finance must play in the transition to a Regenerative Economy, an economy that harmonizes the multiple kinds of capital essential to human and planetary well-being. A multitude of innovators and entrepreneurs around the world are experimenting with practical ways to reimagine capitalism so that it works for all levels of society, as well as for the planet. Their common goal is to create a self-organizing, naturally self-maintaining, highly adaptive Regenerative form of capitalism that produces lasting social and economic vitality for global civilization as a whole. Over the last two years, Capital Institute has been working with many of these thought leaders and entrepreneurs in a quest to understand what a theoretical framework for regenerative economies would look like, and what conditions and processes contribute to their long-term systemic health. The report also explores how a Regenerative Economy would differ from today’s flawed theory of capitalism, and how it would compare to other New Economy ideas such as natural capitalism, sustainable capitalism, conscious capitalism, doughnut economics, circular economies, sharing economies, steady-state economies, etc. Our Regenerative story starts with a single core idea , "The universal patterns and principles the cosmos uses to build stable, healthy, and sustainable systems throughout the real world can and must be used as a model for economic system design"
Funded by the European Commission (EC) LIFE+ programme, LiveWell for LIFE is a ground-breaking project that not only set out to show how low carbon diets can help achieve a reduction of at least 25% in greenhouse gas emissions from the EU food supply chain but also showed how these can be healthy, nutritious and affordable. The project also aimed to influence policies and practices to ease the adoption of low-carbon diets in the EU – and in particular in our pilot countries: France, Spain and Sweden – and ultimately, to put the issue of sustainable diets on the EU policy agenda.
Glen Crust gives an engaging presentation which proposes that university might be a tool you can use more effectively when you know how it works. University life enables you to do what you love with like-minded and motivated friends, and can fulfil many aspects of wellbeing. Glen looks at how a student experience that is happy, connected, satisfying and worthwhile can be a road to fulfilling, worthwhile employment.
While GDP became during the past century a recognized measure for a countries well-being, recent years have demonstrated that the level of true happiness in a country disconnects from its economic development -- having reached a certain minimum threshold. Long before research has confirmed this fact by empiric science, the King of Bhutan has concentrated the entire political focus of the country on a measure called "Gross National Happiness" (GNH). While this model has entered global political discussion in recent years, it has not yet managed to enter the economic world. The concept of "Gross Corporate Happiness" (GCH) is an attempt to transfer the Bhutan model into the corporate world, where the true idea of man has yet been completely ignored in traditional economic teachings. In a world where material Economic Growth is reaching the limits of the planet and motivation of employees through material benefits has lead to a wide frustration of individuals with work life, this concept of "GCH" intends to offer alternative roadway to human development
What is altruism? Put simply, it's the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life. In this uplifting TED talk, he looks at our natural tendency to altruism, and how with gratitude, loving kindness and mindfulness we can meet the challenges of today - such as biodiversity loss and population growth - with individual and societal change based on cooperation, sustainable harmony, caring economics and a care for other species.
There has never been such a crying need for a bold vision of the future. If we fail to reverse the policies that have been driving climate change, we face disaster on a world scale. Yet since the 1980s, radical politics has lost its vision of how to create a qualitatively better society for everyone and lost the ability to inspire. In ‘A Convenient Truth’ Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett set out a path towards a society that’s better for us and the planet. Inequality drives status insecurity, which fuels the consumerism that is destroying our planet. But the things we buy aren’t making us any happier: the link between economic development and real improvements in quality of life is broken in rich societies. For real improvements in wellbeing, we need a more equal society, which is best achieved by putting democracy at the heart of the economy. Indeed, the authors see the extension of democracy into economic institutions as the next major step in the long project of human emancipation.
Geographies of Human Wellbeing explores the nature of wellbeing using indicators and online data analysed using a variety of ICT and mapping techniques. Sections in the resource cover the following: 1. What is human wellbeing? Looks at definitions of human wellbeing and the different ways it can be measured. 2. The wellbeing of women and girls Focusses on gender inequality, Millennium Development Goals. Skill development focuses on using Gapminder and reading and interpreting scatter graphs. Case study: educating rural women and girls in China 3. Population and poverty Uses India as a case study. Skill development reading and constructing population pyramids and drawing choropleth maps. 4. Disease – HIV AIDS Includes reading, interpreting statistics and creating graphs from the data. Global maps to show how HIV AIDS distribution has changed over time. It also includes an extensive GIS activity based on HIV AIDS data. 5. Human wellbing student inquiry Using the inquiry process and the skill development from the previous sections, this section shows students how to undertake their own inquiry about another aspect of human wellbeing. "
Since 2010 the government has made great strides in measuring population wellbeing. The question now is how to use that data and other evidence on wellbeing to create better policies. This project brought together members of the public to help do just that. By running three public dialogues on wellbeing in policy, this project found that the public were interested and engaged with wellbeing, and that the wellbeing lens enabled them to really consider what matters to them. This has the potential, not only to deliver better policy, but also to reconnect people to the policy-making process in a meaningful way. The project aims to answer the question: When and how should the public be engaged in the use of wellbeing in policy-making? It then looks at three policy areas and provides guidance and support for policy makers. The three areas are: - Increasing the incomes of low earners; - Reducing loneliness; - Increasing community control through community rights.
Much of the writing on a post-growth world is about economics. In this exciting and ground-breaking short essay Andrew Dobson considers the implications of the end of growth for politics. Dobson, Professor of Politics at Keele University argues that if the end of growth is to be planned, rather than unplanned and catastrophic, we need now to get onto a trajectory for a benign post-growth world. And that trajectory has six crucial pre-conditions: equality, democracy, a vibrant public sphere, localisation, feminism and the idea and practice of enough.
At the Arts Council, when they talk about the value of arts and culture to society, they always start with its intrinsic value: how arts and culture can illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotional world. This is what they cherish. They also understand that arts and culture has a wider, more measurable impact on our economy, health and wellbeing, society and education. It’s important we also recognize this impact to help people think of our arts and culture for what they are: a strategic national resource. The value of arts and culture to people and society – an evidence review, gathers information that shows where the impact of their work is felt, whilst also identifying any gaps to help shape future research commissions.
In Transition 2.0 is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. You'll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food, localising their economies and setting up community power stations. It's an idea that has gone viral, a social experiment that is about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism. In a world of increasing uncertainty, here is a story of hope, ingenuity and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places.
Humanity's challenge in the 21st century is to eradicate poverty and achieve prosperity for all within the means of the planet's limited natural resources. Until recently working with Oxfam, Kate has developed a visual/conceptual tool in the shape of a doughnut -- which brings planetary boundaries together with social boundaries, creating a safe and just space between the two, in which humanity can thrive. Moving into this space demands far greater equity -- within and between countries -- in the use of natural resources, and far greater efficiency in transforming those resources to meet human needs. This talk, given on October 9th 2013 at Schumacher College, was the second of 11 talks during the autumn of 2013 on Adventures in New Economics - a wide-ranging speaker series covering the key topics in new economic thinking today, presented by Transition Town Totnes, Totnes REconomy Project, and Schumacher College.
This Green Paper makes the case for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England to halt the decline in nature and speed its recovery, for the benefit of people and our environment. We need a new legal commitment to the restoration of nature for the next generation. To achieve this ambition, we need new laws to ensure protection and enhancement of nature as an investment in our nation’s prosperity. We need to reconnect people with nature. From the local level up, the enhancement of our natural environment would be realised through local visions of how, where and why more nature can be delivered through planning and spending decisions. Nature’s recovery would bring a range of benefits, not least, for our health and wellbeing. Inactivity and obesity are escalating; poor mental health is having a significant impact on wellbeing; climate change is already affecting our urban areas and the productivity of our countryside; many of our villages, towns and cities face growing risk of flooding; and our economy continues to use many of our natural “assets” in an unsustainable way, which is likely to be a brake on progress and development in the future. The list is long.
This report presents overwhelming evidence that office design significantly impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of staff. The report finds that a range of factors – from air quality and lighting, to views of nature and interior layout – can affect the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers. Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices – sponsored by JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska – also presents a simple toolkit that businesses can use to measure the health, wellbeing and productivity of their buildings and inform financial decision-making.
The corporation is at a crossroads. The businesses that we have grown up with and the business models that underpin them face deep challenges. They are being reconstructed, from within and without, by pervasive technology. Their values, and the values associated with work and the workplace, are increasingly being questioned. Their model of resource use, of “use it and throw it out,” is increasingly running up against constraints of supply costs. New ways of designing and managing businesses, and new business models, are inevitable. Changes in values are always one of the biggest sources of social transformation. One of the most significant changes in values at present is the shift towards wellbeing, at both a personal and public policy level.
Today, there is a global movement toward the direct measurement and improvement of well-being, pioneered by Gallup and Healthways. This is an endeavor in which Gallup and Healthways have been leaders, providing innovative measures, for the U.S. as well as for most of the countries and most of the people of the world. This report, State of Global Well-Being, is the latest milestone in their work. Measurements of national performance have for too long focused on income — gross domestic product (GDP) and its components — but such measures are much too narrow. Income is certainly important to people — and the growth of incomes over the last 250 years has been one of the greatest achievements of humankind — but it is not the only thing that matters. People can have low well-being and high income, and conversely high well-being and low income. Income is not worth much without health to enjoy it, and good health is a blessing in and of itself, allowing people to live a full and worthwhile life. A good education is not only a vital requirement to do well in life, but it brings its own joys and a richer life in many dimensions. People enjoy contributing meaningfully to the betterment of civil society. The absence of the fear of war and violence, something that was rarely enjoyed by people’s ancestors, also contributes to high well-being. When we ask people to think about how their lives are going, to report on their daily emotions, and to tell us about their health, we gain a much broader picture of their well-being than can be inferred from traditional economic surveys.
Totnes and District is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, along with the rest of the country. Climate change impacts and rising energy costs are further signs that the assumptions underpinning our current economic system need urgent review. Here we have an unusually independent economy. Rather than sacrifice that by pursuing growth at any cost, here we suggest that protecting and enhancing this economy is where our future lies. But how will this provide the jobs we all need to survive? This report identifies a multi-million pound opportunity to create new jobs, grow new enterprises and help existing businesses to thrive. It’s people-based, community-led, sustainable economic development that provides new livelihoods. At the same time, it helps ensure we can feed ourselves, minimise our fuel bills and carbon emissions,provide safer refuge for our savings and pensions and take care of those most in need. This work brings together a coalition of local stakeholder organisations, anchored here in our community, to develop an economic approach designed specifically for Totnes and District (T&D), and shows that we can unite to deliver real change.
Is it any surprise that four out of five British citizens want the government to act on inequality? The richest 1% of the UK population are now wealthier than the poorest 50% put together – a disparity that has been growing steadily since the 1970s, and on current trends is set to get even worse. But this isn’t about the politics of envy; nor is it purely about what is morally right or wrong. We have convincing evidence that extreme economic inequality is contributing decisively to financial instability, wasted human capital, lower well-being and mental health, domination of politics by an elite few and low voter turn out. We can no longer afford to ignore our inequality problem. It’s time for action. The authors of this report call on the government to start with two key steps. The first is to set a tangible target to reduce economic inequality, as they have for child poverty. The second is to establish a high-level commission on economic inequality tasked with devising a broad policy agenda to tackle the drivers of inequality. They then identify five high-level goals that must be achieved to address some of the root drivers of economic inequality. Each goal is accompanied with a set of policy area priorities.
The Winter 2013 edition of Food Ethics assesses what the right to food means for individuals and communities around the world. They ask experts who should be providing and fulfilling that right; how we can ensure the right to food is met; and what obligations businesses have to support access to affordable, decent food. These are fundamental questions that are as directly relevant to us here in the global north as they are in the global south. The recent proliferation of food banks in the UK, with the associated political hand wringing, as well as the increasing anxiety of NGOs about the sharp increase in land grabs in Asia and Africa are but two recent examples of how the right to food affects us all. The expert contributors include Olivier de Schutter, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Patrick Mulvany (Chair of the UK Food Group & Food Ethics Council member), Phil Bloomer (Executive Director of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre) and many more.
Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible — but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.
The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt. It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost. It’s time to change the story. Seeds of Freedom charts the story of seed from its roots at the heart of traditional, diversity rich farming systems across the world, to being transformed into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system.The film highlights the extent to which the industrial agricultural system, and genetically modified (GM) seeds in particular, has impacted on the enormous agro -biodiversity evolved by farmers and communities around the world, since the beginning of agriculture. Seeds of Freedom seeks to challenge the mantra that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world, promoted by the pro-GM lobby. In tracking the story of seed it becomes clear how corporate agenda has driven the take over of seed in order to make vast profit and control of the food global system. Through interviews with leading international experts such as Dr Vandana Shiva and Henk Hobbelink, and through the voices of a number of African farmers, the film highlights how the loss of indigenous seed goes hand in hand with loss of biodiversity and related knowledge; the loss of cultural traditions and practices; the loss of livelihoods; and the loss of food sovereignty. The pressure is growing to replace the diverse, nutritional, locally adapted and resilient seed crops which have been bred by small-scale farmers for millenia, by monocultures of GM seed.
This report provides an overview of the GLADS project, the main messages that came out of it and the key conclusions. The main purpose of the report is to work as a general record of the Good Lives and Decent Societies (GLADS) seminar series, not as a summary of each and every presentation. It has been written to give a flavour of the events, not a blow-by-blow account. It is principally aimed at a policy and practice audience, and more generally for anyone interested in the wellbeing debate. GLADS was designed to stimulate multi-disciplinary collaboration between academics, policy makers and practitioners. It aimed to increase understanding, facilitate the sharing of learning and generate new insights into how to embed the multi-faceted notion of societal wellbeing and social progress into decision-making to enable everyone to live a good live in a decent society.
This briefing paper presents key findings and policy recommendations from the data collected in the Wellbeing & Poverty Pathways field research undertaken in Chiawa, Zambia between 2010 and 2012. Key findings include: • Livelihoods in struggle: The people of Chiawa are struggling to survive, with traditional farming methods under threat and few secure alternative opportunities • Resource conflicts: Key concerns relate to the destruction of crops by wildlife, land alienation to outside investors, the elite capture of development interventions and local people's exclusion from decision-making. • Wellbeing: The multi-dimensional model of 'inner wellbeing' shows people in Chiawa to have low economic confidence, little sense of agency and low social trust. The research also demonstrates that local understandings of wellbeing extend into an ethic of taking care of others across time and space, and this should be seen as a model of power well used.
Chaired by former minister for mental health, Paul Burstow MP, the CentreForum Mental Health Commission concludes its 12 month study on the state of wellbeing in England by identifying five key priorities between now and 2020. The Commission's final report titled 'The pursuit of happiness' calls on policymakers to: • Establish the mental wellbeing of the nation or the “pursuit of happiness” as a clear and measurable goal of government. • Roll out a National Wellbeing Programme to promote mutual support, self-care and recovery, and reduce the crippling stigma that too often goes hand in hand with mental ill health. • Prioritise investment in the mental health of children and young people right from conception. • Make places of work mental health friendly with government leading the way as an employer. • Better equip primary care to identify and treat mental health problems, closing the treatment gap that leaves one in four of the adult population needlessly suffering from depression and anxiety and 1-2% experiencing a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. The report also calls for parity of funding for mental health which currently receives 13% of NHS spend in England but accounts for 23% of demand. It is estimated that £13 billion is overspent every year on dealing with the physical health consequences of this unmet need.
This briefing paper introduces the approach to wellbeing assessment being developed and applied by Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways in its three-year research project in Zambia and India. This is a revised and updated version (original April 2011). Key elements of the approach are: • A multi-dimensional model of wellbeing: Wellbeing is made up of seven domains that span material, relational and personal factors • A new concept of Inner Wellbeing: Subjective perspectives focus on 'Inner Wellbeing': what people feel and think they can do and be • An integrated, mixed method approach: Measures of how people are doing objectively complement Inner Wellbeing assessment. Qualitative data and reflection balance quantitative measures and analysis
Welcome to the UK’s top twenty “Transition oriented” social enterprises. Combined these enterprises have a turnover of £3.5 million and provide paid employment for more than 100 people. We think they’re rather brilliant examples of people just doing stuff. Each of these enterprises demonstrates a different way of working from business as usual – they are sustainable, offer some social benefits and have shared ownership, while providing essential goods and services for the community in which they make their home. They provide jobs for local people, as well as volunteering opportunities, and they buy from other local independent business. Most have emerged from a local Transition group or have links to Transition in some way.
Is economic growth always a good thing? Why are people in countries like the US and UK not happier or working fewer hours when GDP has tripled since 1950? Dan O'Neill's thought-provoking...