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Linking Sustainability and Happiness Certification

The ISQOLS Certification in Linking Sustainability and Happiness allows participants to consider the connections between sustainability and happiness through the exploration of related research, practices, and personal reflection. Participants will have the opportunity to receive a certification confirming their ability to draw life-enhancing links, conduct research, and facilitate practices at the intersection of sustainability and happiness. This certificate program is administered by the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS), a globally-recognized academic and professional association, with its own publications, journals, conferences, and identity, and the Management Institute for Quality-of-Life Studies (MIQOLS).

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Explore Connections between Sustainability and Happiness

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The certification course includes:

  • 8 major content-rich learning modules
  • Support from a renowned quality-of-life/wellbeing scientist
  • An official certification on successful completion of the course work and examination

Course Modules

Linking Sustainability and Happiness

Topics in this module include:

  • examples of how sustainability and happiness have been related in literature and other areas and outline the scope of this approach
  • general integrated nature of the field
  • practical exercises to start connecting personal drivers of sustainability and happiness
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This certification program is aimed at:

  • students interested in research related to happiness and sustainability and the chance to explore their own personal drivers for sustainability and happiness
  • graduate students interested in developing a research project (e.g., Master’s thesis, Doctoral dissertation) involving topics related to sustainability and happiness
  • academic scholars interested in developing research expertise in sustainability and happiness
  • public policy officials interested in the science of sustainability and happiness to guide decision making
  • managers of for-profit and non-profit organizations interested in applying the science of sustainability and happiness
  • researchers employed by national bureaus of statistics
  • quality-of-life/well-being/sustainability coaches interested in using the research to help counsel clients
  • individuals in any other context, who would like to foster their personal and professional abilities to connect sustainability and happiness
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A World-Renowned Instructor

Scott Cloutier (we/us/our) is an Assistant Professor and Senior Sustainability Scholar in the School of Sustainability and the College of the Global Futures. We founded and direct the Sustainability and Happiness Lab (Happy Lab), and the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness™ (Happy Hoods) project, where our research interests center on understanding when sustainable outcomes and happiness coincide. Our work involves multi-year research, teaching and applied collaborations to regenerate human, more-than-human, and community sustainability. Scott has completed local and global projects, including, but not limited to, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Guatemala, Denmark, and on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. 

Scott has degrees in civil, environmental, and environmental and biological engineering. We are also certified in and practice assets-based development, regenerative development, permaculture, natural building, applied shamanism, depth hypnosis, and the integrative healing arts. We are a military (USN) veteran, former college athlete, and a lifelong farmer and advocate for remembering humanity's connection to and reliance upon nature, ancestors, and the wisdom of more-than-human families. Thus, our applied research methods and practices are grounded in creative processes of attending, where researchers recognize aspects of co-being and co-becoming, and are radically open to feelings and messages, relating to the world and understanding ourselves in meaningful ways.

We now focus our efforts on supporting local community hubs that enhance the sustainability and happiness of their surrounding neighborhoods, members, and the land they are situated on. Our latest applied research is in three main areas: (1) regenerative practices that restore land, human and more-than-human individuals, and communities, (2) nature-based practices and tools, such as applied shamanism, that fulfill spiritual yearning, promote sustainability, and their relationship to self-actualization and flourishing, and (3) transcendent learning environments and outcomes.

Scott Cloutier

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a semi-autonomous course. The course will be accompanied by a weekly online group meeting (1.5 hours each), where participants can discuss their experience with the material and address follow up questions with the instructor. The course includes 8 modules over eight weeks.


  • ISQOLS members can take the course for certification for $700.
  • Non-ISQOLS members can take the course for certification for $900.
  • Benefits include:
    • Access to the lecture slides
    • Access to the lecture videos
    • Discount from Springer to purchase the textbook that supports the course
    • Direct communication with the instructor by e-mail and/or video conferencing
    • Certification upon demonstrated learning (evaluated through successful completion of several exams)


  • ISQOLS members can audit the course for $50.
  • Non-ISQOLS members can audit the course for $200.
  • Benefits include:
    • Access to the lecture slides
    • Access to the lecture videos
    • Discount from Springer to purchase the textbook that supports the course

No. However, to make the most out of the material provided in this course, it is recommended that the applicants have at least some background in social sciences and rudimentary knowledge of population statistics.

ISQOLS can provide educational credit in terms of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the Sustainability and Wellbeing Certification Program. 1 CEU is equivalent to 10 contact hours. The Sustainability and Wellbeing Certification Program involves an estimated 10 contact hours in total. This translates into 1 CEU. As such, the program provides 1 CEU.

Those interested in receiving the CEUs should provide enough information to their own educational institution about the ISQOLS certification program and their own institution would determine if they would accept these CEUs.

Many occupations require CEUs to stay licensed in their profession (planners, pollsters, survey researchers, public administrators, etc.). Those who wish to use the certification program for CEUs in meet continuing education requirements of their profession should contact their state/country licensing board and submit information about the course.

This certification is provided by the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS), a global organization with a mission to promote and encourage research in the field of quality-of-life (QOL), happiness, and wellbeing studies. ISQOLS has members all throughout positioned in academic institutions as well as stakeholder groups, and are well-respected for their contributions to QoL. As such, an official certification would be beneficial to anyone who wants to connect the concepts of sustainability and wellbeing in academic research projects, policy making, managerial decision-making, population statistics, and/or coaching and counseling.

The principal benefits you will obtain from the certification course are:

  • a good foundation on how sustainability and wellbeing have been linked in academic works and elsewhere, showing the benefits of a combined approach
  • diverse perspectives on the concepts of sustainability and wellbeing as well as respective action strategies, as discussed in literature and personal experience
  • reflecting on personal drivers of sustainability and wellbeing e.g., through practices such as mindfulness or journaling where a connection between wellbeing and sustainability can be explored
  • exploring win-win scenarios as well as tradeoffs when connecting sustainability and wellbeing both at the individual and societal level; and
  • insights into how to foster the transformation towards increased sustainability and wellbeing as a researcher, a facilitator in various fields of occupation, and as an individual.

This course is administered by a renowned quality-of-life researcher, Scott Cloutier.

The International Society for
Quality-of-Life Studies

P.O. Box 118
Gilbert, Arizona, 85299, USA


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