This report provides an overview of this programme. The aim is to explore the intersection of community level initiatives and the development of a sustainable economy. In particular, it was believed that Scotland has developed some of the principles and practices of community based ownership of resources over the recent and distant past, and that this legacy could provide a model for how a more equitable, resilient, low carbon economy could be achieved in the future. Even if such an economy does not emerge, communities need to be strengthened so that they can support the needs of their members, especially if the contribution of governments is diminished. Whilst the Programme explored issues within Scotland in particular, many of the findings are also broadly relevant for other countries, and we drew on international examples as required. The goals of this Programme were to explore and design models for community resourcing, identify barriers for effective action in this area and highlight opportunities for future action. The planned output was the development of practical recommendations for the short, medium and long term, building on the combined knowledge of programme participants. The programme sought these goals through a series of interlinked seminars and also developed relationships between academics, practitioners and policy makers who are involved in various ways in this intellectual and practical space.
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Martin Seligman's keynote address to the Wellbeing Before Learning; Flourishing students, successful schools conference in Adelaide on Feb 27th 2012
This report presents key findings from the Sovereign Wellbeing Index about the wellbeing of New Zealand adults in late 2012. The survey is the first national representation of how New Zealanders are faring on a personal and social level. The Sovereign Wellbeing Index provides a much needed look into how New Zealanders are coping within the economic conditions. Wellbeing around New Zealand - Using flourishing as a measure of wellbeing there were small but consistent effects of gender, age and income. Older, female and wealthier New Zealanders on average showed higher flourishing scores. Similar findings were found across all other measures of wellbeing giving some confidence in the convergence of measures. - There were only small differences in average flourishing scores between ethnic groups (NZ European slightly higher than Asian) and regions across New Zealand. - Social position was a powerful indicator of wellbeing. Those higher on the social ladder reported much higher wellbeing. - The five Winning Ways to Wellbeing were all strongly associated with higher wellbeing. People who socially connected with others (Connect), gave time and resources to others (Give), were able to appreciate and take notice of things around them (Take notice), were learning new things in their life (Keep learning), and were physically active (Be Active) experienced higher levels of wellbeing
The coming decades will throw up huge challenges and extraordinary uncertainty. As the world becomes increasingly inter-connected, we’ll cross thresholds in environmental, social and economic systems. Unforeseen events, so-called black swans, will happen. We do know the world population will grow, food production will be challenged, and the supply of some resources will struggle to keep up with demand. But opportunities are bound to emerge from these challenges. If we seize the opportunities we could produce a much more stable, equal and healthy society by 2050. We could provide well-being for everyone and for our planet.
Our economy is geared, above all, to achieving growth. In times of recession especially, economic policy is all about returning to growth. But a financial crisis can also be an opportunity for some basic rethinking about what the economy is for, and how through some fundamental restructuring of our financial system we can safeguard our economic stability in the future, as well as achieving wider social and environmental benefits. In recent years, other objectives such as sustainability and wellbeing have moved up the political agenda. Over two years, the SDC's Redefining Prosperity project looked into the connections and conflicts between sustainability, wellbeing and growth. Following a series of seminars and commissioned think pieces, we published the report Prosperity without Growth? The transition to a low carbon economy, written by Professor Tim Jackson, the SDC's Economics Commissioner. Prosperity without Growth? analyses the complex relationships between growth, environmental crises and social recession. In the last quarter of a century, as the global economy has doubled in size, increases in consumption have caused the degradation of an estimated 60% of the world's ecosystems. The benefits of growth have been distributed unevenly, with a fifth of the world's population sharing just 2% of global income. Even in developed countries, huge gaps in wealth and well-being remain between rich and poor. Our report proposes a twelve step route to a sustainable economy, and argues for a redefinition of "prosperity" in light of our evidence on what really contributes to people’s wellbeing.
This report reveals that youngers teenagers have lower well-being than other age groups in most aspects of their lives. The findings come from our eight-year, ground-breaking programme of research, in collaboration with the University of York, to explore and measure children’s subjective well-being. This is the second in our series of annual reports to outline what we know about the quality of children’s lives – as rated by children themselves. What does the report say? So far, we have run surveys and consultations with over 42,000 children aged eight and above.
Bestselling author, world leading psychologist and expert adviser on wellbeing at the highest level of international public policy, Martin Seligman appeared live in the Concert Hall on Sunday 17th Feb. According to Seligman, happiness is not the result of good genes or luck. Real, lasting happiness comes from focusing on personal strengths rather than weaknesses and working with them to improve all aspects of your life. Watch as he speaks about everything from positive emotions and relationships to the politics and economics of well-being.
'A Glass Half-full' offers a fresh perspective on how to reduce inequalities in community health and wellbeing. It proposes assessing and building on the strengths and resources in a community to increase resilience and social capital, and develop better ways of delivering health outcomes. Mounting evidence shows that when practitioners begin with what communities have – their assets – as opposed to what they don't have - their needs - a community's ability to address those needs increases. So too does its capacity to lever in external assistance. This publication offers local authorities, health practitioners and politicians an introduction to the asset model approach and principles and gives examples of how it is being used in England. It also outlines a set of coherent and structured tools that put asset model principles into practice.
This chapter summarises the work which is unfolding and evolving in South Australia lead by many different partners in the residency. Some partners had begun their work in this space prior to the Residency and recognized the engagement of Martin Seligman in South Australia as an opportunity to further their work and connect to the broader strategy. Other partners used the Residency as a vehicle to begin their work on wellbeing. All of these organizations and individuals are at different stages in their journey. Building PERMA, as an individual or an organization, is not a one-step process. It really is a journey. Those organizations that have been working in this area for several years have longer stories to tell than those that are just beginning the work. Each of these journeys is individually significant. It is the sum of all of his work that makes what is happening in South Australia truly extraordinary. This section gives form to the volume of work, the scale and type of learning and leadership that is occurring across South Australia.
This report outlines Professor Martin Seligman’s theory of wellbeing, introduces and explains the main concepts of wellbeing and discusses how South Australia could move from theory to practice to increase the wellbeing of all South Australians. This report does not provide a full academic summary, but, as with all Adelaide Thinkers in Residence reports, it is designed to capture key components and concepts of the Thinkers’s expertise (in this case Positive Psychology) and to argue the logic behind the specific and detailed recommendations for South Australia.
One of the key aims of a democratic government is to promote the good life: a flourishing society, where citizens are happy, healthy, capable and engaged – in other words with high levels of well-being. But in prioritising economic growth at all costs, government has lost sight of this ultimate aim. This manisto seeks to put well-being back at the centre of policymaking.
This review focuses on positive aspects of wellbeing, or flourishing. It examines evidence for the causes of positive wellbeing and also its consequences, including beneficial effects for many aspects of cognitive functioning, health and social relationships. The neurological basis of psychological wellbeing is examined and recent data on brain activation and neurochemical pathways presented. Individuals vary widely in their habitual level of psychological wellbeing, and there is evidence for a seminal role of social factors and the early environment in this process. It is often assumed that the drivers of wellbeing are the same as (but in the opposite direction to) the drivers of illbeing, but while this is true for some drivers, others have more selective effects. Future developments in the science of wellbeing and its application require a fresh approach – beyond targeting the alleviation of disorder to a focus on personal and interpersonal flourishing. A universal intervention approach is outlined which may both increase population flourishing and reduce common mental health problems.
This report is a synthesis of ideas about what this new economy-in-society-in-nature could look like and how we might get there. In this report, we discuss the need to focus more directly on the goal of sustainable human well-being rather than merely GDP growth. This includes protecting and restoring nature, achieving social and intergenerational fairness (including poverty alleviation), stabilizing population, and recognizing the significant nonmarket contributions to human well-being from natural and social capital. To do this, we need to develop better measures of progress that go well beyond GDP and begin to measure human well-being and its sustainability more directly. Our purpose in this report is to lay out a new model of the economy based on the worldview and principles of “ecological economics”.