Measuring National Well-Being – what matters to you?
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (GMT)
Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
Wednesday 23rd March, 2011
6.00 – 7.30 Debate
7.30 Drinks Reception
Cambridge Judge Business School and the Well-Being Institute, University of Cambridge are pleased to host a debate on the measurement of national well-being on behalf of the Office for National Statistics.
The Office for National Statistics is developing a set of measures of national well-being to complement economic measures - such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - that until now have underpinned evaluations of ‘how the UK is doing’. The argument is that national well-being cannot be understood by looking at economic measures alone. There is growing demand for wider measures of progress and a more complete picture of ‘how society is doing’.
The National Statistician has launched a nationwide debate with the aim of understanding the dimensions and key features of national well-being – or, more simply, determining what things matter to people. Although there are some existing objective measures that may help understand national well-being (for example around health, education, employment and crime), it seems equally important to understand subjective measures of well-being (how we experience our lives, e.g. how happy and fulfilled we are) – but there is no consensus, and very little available data on such measures. The national debate aims to identify and elaborate key themes that will help to develop credible, robust measures of individual and national well-being, for use in future surveys.
The Cambridge event will take the form of a ‘Question Time’ debate, chaired by the BBC’s Claudia Hammond. Panellists will be:
· Jen Beaumont, Social Trends Branch Head, Office for National Statistics
· Andrew Gamble, Professor of Politics, Head of Department of Politics and International Studies & Associate Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge
· David Halpern, Director, Behavioural Insights Team, Cabinet Office
· Felicia Huppert, Professor of Psychology & Director of the Well-Being Institute, University of Cambridge
· Simon Learmount, Director of the Executive MBA, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
· Nic Marks, Founder of the Centre for Well-Being, Fellow at the new economics foundation
This is a public event for which you can register here. You are warmly encouraged to contribute your views and ideas as part of the national debate; you can either submit questions in advance, using the 'contact the host' button on the right, or raise issues from the floor. Please note there is very limited parking at the venue.
The debate and reception is being sponsored by the Cambridge Executive MBA programme.
Jen Beaumont is the project manager for the reporting workstream of the Office for National Statistics Measuring National Well-being Programme. She is the editor of Social Trends, which has been reporting indicators of social policy and conditions for more than forty years. She has been a Government Statistician for more than twenty years and has worked in a variety of Departments. Her most recent post before joining the Measuring National Well-being Programme was as Regional Statistician for the East Midlands. Jen also has connections to Cambridge having worked in the Government of for the East of England.
Andrew Gamble is Professor of Politics, a Fellow of Queens’ College and Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. He is joint editor of The Political Quarterly and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has published widely on British politics, public policy, and political economy.
David was responsible for the original blueprint for the Institute for Government, and now serves as a Senior Fellow. He was Deputy Director until 8 October 2010 and is currently seconded to both No.10 and the Cabinet Office full time to head the Behavioural Insight Team, and support on the Big Society and wellbeing agendas.
David previously worked as Chief Analyst in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit (2001-2007). He led numerous reviews, including the UK Government's Strategic Audits and recent Policy Reviews; set up the Social Exclusion Task Force and drafted its Action Plan; and authored many of the Strategy Unit's most influential papers, such as on Life Satisfaction and on Personal Responsibility and Behaviour Change.
Before entering government, he held tenure at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Cambridge University, where he still remains an Affiliated Lecturer. He has also held posts at Nuffield College, Oxford; the Policy Studies Institute, London; and as a Visiting Professor at the Centre for European Studies, Harvard. He has published widely including books on Hidden Wealth of Nations (2009); Social Capital (2005); Options for Britain: a strategic policy review (1996) and Options for a New Britain (2009), and Mental Health and the Built Environment (1995).
Felicia Huppert is a Professor of Psychology in the University of Cambridge, and Director of the University’s Well-being Institute. Her research takes a life course approach to understanding the causes and consequences of well-being, and combines individual, population and public health perspectives. Felicia was the lead expert on well-being for the Government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing (2008), and is currently on the Advisory Forum on Measuring National Well-being. She headed the consortium which developed the well-being module for the European Social Survey, resulting in a new approach to the definition and measurement of flourishing. Practical applications of her work include the use of mindfulness training to enhance the well-being of adolescents in schools. In collaboration with Dr Sara Booth from Addenbrooke’s Hospital, she has created a Well-being Journal as a self-help mindfulness and positive psychology intervention for patients, using wonderful paintings from the Fitzwilliam Museum. Her numerous publications include the seminal book “The Science of Well-being” (2005).
Simon Learmount is Director of the Executive MBA Programme at Judge Business School, and a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, the Development Bank of Japan, and the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge. Prior to joining Judge Business School in 2002, Dr Learmount was founder and Managing Director of Saxoncourt Ltd and Director of Sales and Marketing at International Packaging Ltd.
Dr Learmount’s core research interests are international corporate governance, especially the convergence of national systems of corporate governance; the impact of globalisation on firm strategy; and the Japanese corporate system. His book, Corporate Governance: what can be learned from Japan? (Oxford University Press, 2002), for example explores the importance of certain human resource practices for the evolution of intra and inter-organisational trust, and ‘joint and several’ responsibility for the actions and decisions of the company as a whole. He has a particular interest in the teaching of ‘soft skills’ to corporate executives, and has championed the introduction of executive coaching on the Executive MBA programme.
Dr Learmount has lived and worked extensively in Japan, France, the United States and Spain, and he has additional business experience in Taiwan, S. Korea, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and the Czech republic. He has consulted to a number of organisations around the world, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan Corporate Auditors Association, BT, Rolls Royce Coca Cola, BP and Roche.
Nic is Founder of the centre for well-being and has led the well-being programme at nef since 2001. Nic is a recognised expert in the field of well-being research and undertakes innovative research in the use of well-being indicators in public policy environments. Nic has expertise in relation to individual, social, economic and environmental indicators of well-being and has previously applied his work in policy fields as diverse as sustainable development, health and social care, education, culture and the arts, and employment. Nic has experience of devising methodologies to measure well-being, statistical and analytical skills, and a proven ability to interpret findings in a way that makes sense for policy makers, practitioners and the general public. He also has a particular interest in how objective and subjective measures can be used alongside each other to create national and local accounts of well-being and in how we can best increase well-being within our environmental limits.
Nic is regularly asked to attend speaking engagements and occupies a number of advisory positions as a result of his pioneering research. He was the lead author of nef’s innovative Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being and environmental impact and in June 2010 gave a prestigious TED lecture on it. He was an advisor to the UK Government Office for Science’s Foresight project on ‘mental capital and well-being” which was published in October 2008, which included the creation of “the five ways to well-being”. He devised, together with others at the centre for well-being, the model and methodology behind nef’s report on National Accounts of Well-being, which gained extensive media coverage when launched in January 2009 and was an author of the recent nef report Measuring our progress: the power of well-being. In January 2011 he was one of the first authors in the new TED ‘Kindle Singles’ range, with his book The Happiness Manifesto.
Nic has a degree in Management Studies from Cambridge University, a Master’s degree in Operational Research from Lancaster University and a postgraduate diploma in Change Agent Skills and Strategies from the Human Potential Research Group at the University of Surrey. He is also a qualified psychotherapist and a member of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies – ISQOLS. In 2007 nef won the ISQOLS ‘Betterment of the Human Condition” award in recognition of their work on the Happy Planet Index.
Claudia Hammond (Chair)
Claudia is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and academic psychologist. She is the presenter of All in the Mind, Case Study & Mind Changers on BBC Radio 4 and the weekly Health Check on BBC World Service Radio & BBC World News TV. She has appeared often on TV discussing psychological research, and is on the part-time faculty at Boston University's London base where she lectures in health and social psychology.
Using her specialist knowledge she has originated and presented numerous Radio 4 series on psychology and science including the critically acclaimed landmark series State of Mind. Her first book "Emotional Rollercoaster — a journey through the science of feelings" has been translated into six languages. She is currently writing a second.