This book is about hope and a call to action to make the world the kind of place we want to live in. Our hope is to provoke conversation, and gently challenge possibly long-held views, beliefs, and ideologies about the way the world works and the people in that world.
Written by eminent researchers and experienced practitioners, the book explores the principles that underpin living well, and gives examples of how this can be achieved not just in our own lives, but across communities and the planet we share. Chapters cover the stages of life from childhood to ageing, the foundations of everyday flourishing, including health and relationships, and finally wellbeing in the wider world, addressing issues such as economics, politics and the environment. Based in the scientific evidence of what works and supported by illustrations of good practice, this book is both ambitious and aspirational.
The book is designed for a wide audience – anyone seeking to create positive change in the world, their institutions or communities.
Table of Contents
Part A: Introduction; Foundations for a brighter future; Part B: What makes for a good life?; 1. Childhood; 2. Education; 3. Work; 4. Ageing; Part C: The foundations of everyday flourishing; 5. Relationships; 6. Health; 7. Community; 8. Leisure; Part D: The world around us; 9. Media; 10. Society; 11. Economics; 12. Politics; 13. Environment; Part E: Conclusion; Making Choices for a Brighter Future
Authors: Bridget Grenville-Cleave, Dóra Guðmundsdóttir, Felicia Huppert, Vanessa King, David Roffey, Sue Roffey and Marten de Vries.
This unique collective of seven authors from the United Kingdom, Australia, Iceland and the Netherlands are a mix of distinguished academics, positive psychology researchers and practitioners, authors and authorities in their respective fields.
'This book is for our times and has my wholehearted recommendation. It channels our collective yearning for a better world into evidence-based actions. In weaving together the latest well-being science with accessible stories of hope, it offers a blueprint of what works to create flourishing lives and communities. Let it inspire us all to create a better, fairer, and more sustainable world'.
Barbara Fredrickson, Author of Positivity and Love 2.0, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
'This beautiful book informs us of the science and inspires us to apply it. It is based on the best of positive psychology, which has shown how the goal of wellbeing can be as relevant to those who are flourishing as to those who are languishing – and as relevant to education, work and public policy as to our inner private world'.
Professor Lord Richard Layard, Co-Director, Well-Being Programme, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics
'This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It offers a superb developmental and contextual approach to integrative well-being. Moreover, it is a wonderful contribution to our holistic understanding of personal, interpersonal, occupational, communal, and environmental wellness. An amazing group of authors tackle contemporary issues that go beyond individual pursuits of happiness. By combining evidence with values and pragmatism, this book offers hope and actionable steps. This volume is destined to become a classic in the emerging field of integrative well-being. With great clarity and beautiful writing, the authors encourage us to align our values with our actions. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the well-being of present and future generations. This is a much needed corrective to efforts to define and increase well-being in individualistic ways. The value-based nature of the treatise reminds us that there cannot be wellness without fairness'.
Isaac Prilleltensky, Ph.D., Professor, Vice Provost for Institutional Culture, Dean Emeritus, School of Education and Human Development, Erwin and Barbara Mautner Chair in Community Well-Being, University of Miami
'What kind of world do we want to live in? In shifting from the narrow perspective of individual well-being to a global systems-informed one, this question and its potential answers point towards an important new wave in positive psychology. How do we create a positive eco-system to ensure sustainable well-being for generations to come? What can a truly multi-disciplinary approach offer us over and above the existing scope of positive psychology? This book offers intriguing answers to these complex questions, based on extensive research and practical know-how of its stellar author cast. A beautiful read'!
Pr Ilona Boniwell, Executive Directeur, Positran/ Strategic Programme Leader, IMAPP- Anglia Ruskin University / Visiting and Associate Professor CentraleSupelec, HEC and University of East London
'I was truly impressed by this volume. Integrating the best knowledge and theories within the social and behavioural sciences and neuroscience, the authors masterfully chart the possibilities for, and pathways to, greater flourishing as individuals and as societies. Will be of interest to parents, practitioners, politicians and people of all generations and cultures'.
Richard M. Ryan, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Rochester, NY, Professor, Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney
'This is a timely and important book that truly rises to the challenges of our difficult age. It beautifully exemplifies the compassionate, clear-eyed, multidimensional thinking and strategizing that humankind is going to need over the years ahead. Moreover, not only is its message vital, it is very-well articulated, written in accessible language that helps ensure its meaning is not lost or diluted. A must-read for everyone helping to make the world a better place'.
Dr Tim Lomas, School of Psychology, University of East London
'A useful and timely guide to a positive psychology that focuses on "our" wellbeing rather than on "my" wellbeing'.
Howard Gardner, Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Author of A Synthesizing Mind
'Creating the World We Want to Live In is a book that aims high, and quite rightly so. The authors are all highly acclaimed experts in positive psychology who work, write and live with passion and purpose. Each brings years of wisdom to this shared undertaking, to envisage a better more equitable world for us all. There are an enormous number of books that aim to help individual wellbeing; this book takes a broader, more collective perspective. As such it presents a clear call to improve the wellbeing of the world'.
Dr Helen Street, The Positive Schools Initiative, Honorary Fellow, The University of Western Australia.
'A great book that brings together key insights from positive psychology and related scientific fields studying what makes life worth living. It could not come at a better time than this, in which the mere amount of accessible information is enough to overwhelm many of us – and where it is often difficult to reach common understandings of even simple facts, let alone agreement on common strategies for moving forward. The authors succeed wonderfully in both: They provide a clear overview of current knowledge and they illuminate compelling, common pathways to a better future informed by this knowledge. Highly recommended'!
Hans Henrik Knoop, Associate Professor with Distinction, Aarhus University, Denmark, Extraordinary Professor, Optentia, North-West University, South Africa, Past President, European Network for Positive Psychology
If you ever feel that it is impossible to change the world – read this book. It is a book about empowerment, showing us brilliantly through positive psychology how individuals and communities are all agents of flourishing. Read this book, it will support you in the creation of the world you want to live in.
Dr Itai Ivtzan
School of Positive Transformation