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ISQOLS Webinars are created and produced by ISQOLS members in collaboration with the Happiness Alliance. The intent of ISQOLS Webinars is to inspire ideas and research in new directions and contribute to the happiness, well-being and quality-of-life research.

Upcoming Webinars

Stay tuned for updates!

Past Webinars

March 15, 2019: "Reframing Work to Improve Wellbeing"

Featuring: Erin Weber

 In our current economic system, people have to work to meet their needs, but lots of work doesn’t improve the wellbeing of people or the planet. Work that does improve wellbeing, like caregiving and pursuing education, are often poorly supported. This webinar will explore policy approaches on the state and federal level that shift the conversation from "more" stuff to "better" lives. By engaging policymakers through the frame of wellbeing rather than the economic bottom line, organizers in a myriad of policy areas can shift the political conversation from an entrenched focus on growth toward a focus on improving the quality of life of families communities. 

January 16, 2019: "Bridging the Gap Between the SDG and Happiness Metrics"

Featuring: Leire Iriarte

This webinar aims to better understand the overlaps and gaps between the SDGs and happiness metrics. Given the lack of an overarching happiness metric, we have developed what we call Aggregate Happiness Index (AHI), based on different happiness metrics already in use. This AHI is benchmarked against the SDGs in order to better understand the interactions. We will discuss the results and the possibility of integrating the SDGs and happiness metrics.

December 14, 2018: "Gross National Happiness of Business: An Assessment Tool" 

Featuring: Jigme Phuntsho

The Gross National Happiness (GNH) assessment for business is a tool to systematically assess a business establishment’s effort to integrate GNH values into its operations towards enhancing wellbeing and happiness of workers and the society at large. Following the domain-based GNH framework, the framework for assessment of business was developed using nine domains of GNH. These nine domains can broadly be grouped into two components; workers’ wellbeing and the organization’s commitment for wellbeing.

November 9, 2018: "A common agenda for the happiness movement and key findings from 'The Happiness Manifesto'" 

Featuring: Stefano Bartolini

We live in rich countries, we have defeated mass poverty, we have access to consumer goods, education and health care and we live longer lives. However, studies on happiness in industrial countries depict a dismal portrait. Distress, mental illnesses, addictions, suicides and psychiatric drugs are on the rise in many countries. Why rich countries haven’t succeeded in combining economic development and wellbeing? The answer lies in the declining quality of our social and effective relationships. Our relationships have been sacrificed on the altar of material affluence, which knows only two imperatives: work and the consumption of material goods. Hence our increasing wealth of goods and penury of relationships. Hence our growing unhappiness. Bartolini’s book accompany us on a journey through the causes of and solutions to this contemporary malaise. Combining economic prosperity and happiness is as possible as it is necessary. Governments, political parties, entrepreneurs, managers, parents, teachers, and all of us have it in our power to redesign our world. We can change our schools, change our cities, reduce traffic and advertising.

October 12, 2018: “Will We Ever Get Beyond GDP?”

Featuring: Jon Hall 

Jon Hall, Policy Specialist at UNDP in the Human Development Report Office, former manager of the OECD’s Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies, and author of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Measuring Australia’s Progress will speak about key lessons and pointers for policy makers using Beyond GDP data. Conversations about the need to go beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are as old as the numbers themselves. And yet data on economic output still holds enormous sway as a measure of national success. In this seminar, Jon Hall will talk about some of the arguments he has often heard raised against going beyond GDP, and some ideas for what else needs to happen before GDP really is dethroned.

September 27, 2018: "Sustainability through Happiness"

Featuring: Scott Cloutier

In this webinar, Scott Cloutier will briefly outline his applied research program as director of the Sustainability and Happiness Research Lab (Happy Lab). The Happiness Research Lab states that "by integrating happiness science and research, we seek to promote multiple pathways toward a happy, healthy and sustainable world. With open hearts and open minds, we empower communities to create loving relationships within themselves, with each other, the Earth, and all life." Scott will also provide insight into the Happy Hoods Projects, which are meant to simultaneously promote sustainability and opportunities for happiness.

June 1st, 2018: "Community Development and Community Well-Being: Finding Points of Intersection and Building for the Future" 

Featuring: Rhonda Phillips, Craig Talmage, Kai Ludwigs 

This webinar explains the joint project between The International  Society for Quality-ofLife Studies and Community Development Society, who are working together to build community capacity between the organizations by developing and implementing an online community project, bringing together members and students interested in community development and community well-being. The speakers will give an overview of a project in the Greater Lafayette (USA) area that is focused on gauging happiness and well-being of residents in this community; as well as details about a Happiness Research Organization (Germany) to utilize a smart-phone based app to gather data from residents, and selected interviews with community stakeholders. The intent of the project is to define the intersection of this work in ways that can be used and recognized much more widely.

March 23, 2018: "Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index: Technically Rigorous? Policy Relevant? An Investigation after 5 years."

Featuring Sabina Alkire

Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index has intrigued many, as it reflects the articulate objective of a society in which 'Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.' However, the composition of the GNH Index is not widely understood. Nor do many see how it can shape national policies across many sectors. This seminar will share information on the methodology of the GNH index, which innovatively adapts the Alkire & Foster Counting based methodology often applied to poverty measurement. It will also share some information on its links to policies in Bhutan, and the kinds of conversations it catalyses in the wider society.

February 23rd: "Report from the 2nd Global Dialogue for Happiness at the World Government Summit in Dubai"

Featuring: Laura Musikanski

Laura Musikanski gives a report about the speakers and events at the 2nd Global Dialogue for Happiness at the World Government Summit in Dubai. This invitation only event is convened by Dubai’s Minister for the State of Happiness with the goal of knowledge sharing and development of thought leadership. The first Global Dialogue for Happiness featured speakers including Stieglitz, Helliwell, Sacks, Csikszentmihalyi, Clark, Tobgay, and many others. Laura will present key announcements and findings presented at the conference with, potentially short videos of the presenters, with an analysis of the meeting and thoughts for future directions.

January 26, 2018:"The Psychology of Happiness in the Modern World: A Social Psychological Approach"

Featuring: Jim Allen

Positive psychology has greatly increased our understanding of human happiness. However, the field takes a largely individualistic approach, emphasizing individual strengths such as gratitude, optimism, mindfulness, and conscientiousness, along with the importance of cultivating positive experiences and strong relationships. Consequently, the field teaches that each of us, as individuals, can increase our happiness in isolation from most of those around us by cultivating character strengths. However, while these individualistic factors are undoubtedly important, there are also many socio-structural influences on happiness that have been largely ignored.

December 8, 2017: "What do Intentional Communities got to do with Quality-of-Life? A talk connecting the dots between the human brain, happiness and how we choose to live together."

Featuring: Bjørn Grinde

Bjørn Grinde, author and researcher, speaks about the links between quality of life, the human brain and intentional communities. During this webinar, he will explain what intentional communities are, how he came to research them, and why they are of interest to him for research purposes. He will discuss the trial and joys of conducting research projects with intentional communities, and his findings about quality of life and the human brain, as well as directions for future research.

November 3, 2017: "How an Activist Researcher became a Cartoon Character: HyperCapitalism, Values, & Quality of Life"

Featuring: Tim Kasser

Tim Kasser is Professor & Chair of Psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He has authored over 100 scientific articls and book chapters on materialism, valuse, and quality-of-life, among other topics. After the publication of his first book, "The High Price of Materialism", he was named a Distinguished Research Fellow by ISQOLS in 2003. In early 2018, he will release his fifth book, co-authored with the cartoonist Larry Gonick, and titled, "Hypercapitalism: The Modern Economy, Its Values, and How to Change Them". In addition to his academic pursuits, Kasser consults frequently with activist groups who work against the commercialization of children and who encourage a more inwardly rich lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism.

The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS)




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