Wednesday 21 May 2014

Wellbeing gains significance in German policymaking

This post by Christian Kroll of Bertelsmann Stiftung gives weight to the view that it's time for research on happiness and life satisfaction to be more systematically integrated into the policy advice architecture in Germany. 

Wellbeing and Policy” – that is the title of a landmark report written by Lord Gus O’Donnell and a group of renowned experts: Prof. Angus Deaton (Princeton University), Lord Prof. Richard Layard (London School of Economics), Dr. David Halpern (Behavioural Insights Team) and Martine Durand (OECD). It was commissioned by the London-based Legatum Institute.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German think tank, invited the report’s authors to Berlin to discuss the group’s proposals with senior German policymakers and experts in Berlin. As a result, it emerged that the topic is of increasing significance in Europe’s largest economy. The coalition treaty which sets out the government’s work programme for the next 4 years, for instance, promises to develop and implement an action plan “gut leben” (good life) which shall be based on indicators of progress and well-being beyond GDP.

On the occasion of the event, the following video interviews with Martine Durand and Gus O’Donnell were filmed for the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s SGI News – a news portal of the Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) project that features stories around this Wikiprogress partner project. The SGI project just launched its new 2014 study which examines governance and policy making in all European Union and OECD countries.

A full report of the event in Berlin can be found here:

Putting the O’Donnell report in the German context, Prof Gert Wagner and I recently argued in an article for the leading economics opinion magazine Capital that it is time for research on happiness and life satisfaction to systematically be integrated into the policy advice architecture in Germany.

Dr. Christian Kroll is project manager of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Sustainable Governance Indicators project.

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