April 2016 Member highlight: Kai Ludwigs
April 2016 Member Highlight: Kai Ludwigs
Director of the Happiness Research Organisation
- Describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies.
Since I was a child I just tried to understand as much about how life works as possible. Thus, when I turned 15 I had the idea that I wanted to understand body, mind and economy as I felt like this should give me a broad overview and would help me to understand a lot of mechanisms. In the next few years I did different practical education programs to understand the human body better, started to study Psychology and parallel started to study Economy. While doing this, I learned a lot but it was not quite clear what I can do now with this education as I was lacking a global goal or indicator in this interdisciplinary.
- What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?
Thankfully, I started to get to know some research that focused on quality of life, well-being and happiness pretty early in my Bachelors which gave me a solution. From there on I tried to read as much as possible to link my other knowledge to quality of life research and found my passion. The only issue I had was that I did not feel like the methods are already perfect and that we have enough detailed data to understand the underlying mechanisms of quality of life in full detail. Thus, I talked to my best friend from childhood who studied Computer Science at this time and explained him that I would like to use modern technology to measure constructs like well-being, happiness and quality of life in more detail to understand the underlying mechanisms and be able to realize greater happiness for a greater number of people. This was three years ago and today we have our own research institute, the Happiness Research Organisation, and try to realize this dream. Every day we come one step closer but it is still a lot to do.
- What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?
In our opinion it is still important to work on the measurements to able to first set up a valid basis to understand what increases people’s quality of life and what does not. This seems especially true for smaller interventions on a micro or meso level. For example in corporates to help people to have a better working life or in communities to increase community-well-being by different interventions. Because of this we hope that more researchers focus more on the methods and measurements and on studies on a micro and meso level and not just on macroeconomic studies.
- How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?
To have an impact on this I started in 2014 to become a member of ISQOLS and try to help to grow the community and to share our experiences since then. It is great to see ISQOLS growing and to get to know people worldwide that share our passion. We are looking forward to stay involved and to help ISQOLS to increase its network to have even more impact on people’s lives in the future.