Happiness, Well-being and Sustainability: A Course in Systems Change, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Happiness, Well-being and Sustainability

A Course in Systems Change, 1st Edition

By Laura Musikanski, Rhonda Phillips, James Bradbury, John de Graaf, Clinton Bliss


208 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367488703
pub: 2020-06-16
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 16th June 2020
Hardback: 9780367488727
pub: 2020-06-16
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 16th June 2020

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Happiness, Well-being and Sustainability: A Course in Systems Change is the first textbook bridging the gap between personal happiness and sustainable social change. The book provides a guide for students to increase their skills, literacy and knowledge about connections between a sense of well-being and systems change.  Further, it can help students live a life that brings them happiness and contributes to the well-being of others and the sustainability of our planet. 

The book is broken down into seven sections covering the subjects of systems thinking, personal and societal values, measuring happiness, human needs, ecological sustainability, and public policy. In addition, each section includes engaging exercises to empower students to develop their own ideas, prompts for group discussion, suggestions for additional research, and an extensive list of resources and references. The book is written in the context of systems thinking with a style that is approachable and accessible. 

Happiness, Well-being and Sustainability provides essential reading for students in courses on happiness, social change, and sustainability studies, and provides a comprehensive framework for instructors looking to initiate courses in this field.


"Happiness, Well-Being, and Sustainability is the first text book aimed at teaching students the new science of happiness and well-being measurement and to think of it in the context of making positive – and sustainable – changes to society. It provides extensive and robust evidence of the theory and metrics underlying the well-being approach, and at the same time links it to those of systemic change. It provides students with lessons on how to be agents of their own destiny, and to use that agency to contribute to the well-being and sustainability of their societies. The authors make their broad objective very eloquently in the introduction by quoting Ghandi: "be the change you wish to see in the world." It is a refreshing and accessible volume that will provide the next generation with better tools to navigate and improve their collective futures."Carol Graham, Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow, College Park Professor, University of Maryland

"I am speaking today with a group of high-school students exploring ways to create a sustainably happier world. I so wish this book was already here to assist their project. They will learn, I hope, and as the book illustrates, that authentic happiness arises most readily when people work with each other, and not against others, to deliver a better world for generations to come."John Helliwell, Professor at Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, co-editor, World Happiness Report

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Systems 2. Values 3. Measuring happiness 4. Individual happiness 5. Needs 6. Sustainability 7. Policy Closing: Your future, our future

About the Authors

Laura Musikanski, JD, MBA is executive director and co-founder of the Happiness Alliance and co-author of The Happiness Policy Handbook. She is chair of IEEE P7010 Recommended Practice for Assessing the Impact of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems on Human Well-being.  Laura holds a J.D. and MBA, both from the University of Washington and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.

Rhonda Phillips, PhD is a community well-being, development and planning specialist and the Dean of Purdue Honors College. She is a three-time Fulbright award recipient and author or editor of 28 books, including co-author of The Happiness Policy Handbook.  Rhonda holds a PhD in city and regional planning and a MS in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is a board director of the Happiness Alliance.

James Bradbury, PhD is a retired physicist who carried out research at Stanford University, Palo Alto Research Laboratory, and the Los Alamos Research Laboratory.  Research included the use of accelerator-produced particles for treating cancer and creating fusion energy as a possible renewable energy source. James holds a PhD in physics from Stanford University.  He is involved in national climate change policy advocacy and an emeritus board director of the Happiness Alliance.

John de Graaf is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and producer of more than 40 television documentaries. John's books include Affluenza and What's The Economy For Anyway?. He co-founded the Happiness Alliance, as well as two other nonprofit organizations:  And Beauty for All, and Take Back Your Time.

Clinton Bliss, MD is an administrator and practicing physician who works within the healthcare model of bio-psycho-social systems thinking. Clinton holds an MD from UCLA School of Medicine, and Board Certification in Family Medicine from the University of Washington.  He is a board director of the Happiness Alliance.



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / Happiness