Tag Archives: Happiness: Lessons from a New Science

A Movement for Happiness

31 Mar

“Our society is unnecessarily harsh and full of unnecessary suffering. We can surely move onto a higher plateau, with more happiness and less misery. But two things are needed for this to happen. First, we have to agree that that is the objective. And then we have to use all the available knowledge and all our spiritual strength to get there.” As he just announced in a Sunday Times article, Richard Layard has teamed up with former Director of Policy at No 10 Geoff Mulgan and Blair biographer Anthony Seldon to start a Movement for Happiness to launch in September – the quote above is from the Manifesto. Economist Layard, a Labour peer, has been a major influence on government thinking about well-being. His 2005 book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, addressed the idea that greater wealth is not apparently making us any happier, and asked how we might “exploit the end of scarcity that science makes possible”. In the Manifesto on the  Movement for Happiness website he writes that while many individuals and policy makers believe that well-being might be a better goal than increased wealth creation, this thinking and activity ” is sporadic and uncoordinated”. The aim then is to create a network of  “like-minded people who share common values and can organise themselves in ways that advance their personal happiness and the happiness of the communities where they live.”  Watch this space…