Sustainable Happiness Worldwide: Lessons from Bhutan

Positive Education Interventions

sustainable happiness worldwide: lessons from bhutan

In July 2011 the UN General Assembly resolution on ‘Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development’ was passed by consensus by all 193-member states. This clearly indicates the emergence of a global movement examining happiness at a societal level and bringing together international organisations, NGOs and countries.  At this level, the vision of a happy society is tightly linked to sustainable development and the new economic paradigm. This module will review various state-level and world-wide initiatives, ranging from the United Kingdom to Germany and Bhutan, as well as UN and OECD programs. How do they draw on well-being science and what promises do they hold?

What is the relationship between the economic growth and well-being of a nation? This module will also explore what is known as the Easterlin Paradox and present the state of the art knowledge of well-being economics. We will review what seem to be the drivers of well-being at a nation-wide level. Current indicators of economic development and societal progress will be questioned, with reference to the Stiglitz commission’s work and Bhutan’s report on happiness-based public policy recommendations.

The presentation or masterclass will draw on the work undertaken by Pr. Boniwell for the Royal Government of Bhutan and the UN on developing recommendations for happiness-based public policies, where positive education has emerged as a core intervention opportunity.

Participants will also have an opportunity to explore what different societies are doing about raising the happiness of their citizens and to design actions for happiness.

Learning objectives:

  • To develop different conceptual visions of happiness and the state of the art of science around these issues.
  • To learn about different countries’ approaches to developing national well-being indicators.
  • To learn about current happiness-based education initiatives worldwide.

Contact form:

Available formats:


From 45 to 90 minutes
max 20 participants


From 1 to 2 hours
Capacity to be determined


1h30 to 1 day
max 20 participants

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