NUI Galway’s School of Psychology is currently recruiting people of all ages to take part in a study exploring Wellbeing in Ireland. The study makes use of a new collective intelligence thinking tool that helps people to structure relationships between national wellbeing objectives, and will be used to shape government policy into the future.
Internationally, there is increasing interest in, and analysis of, human wellbeing and the economic, social, environmental and psychological factors that contribute to it. Current thinking suggests that to measure social progress and national wellbeing we need something more than economic indicators, which are traditionally used by governments to track progress.
Experts across a range of disciplines have increasingly highlighted a number of key values and domains of measurement that are influencing the way governments in different countries are thinking about wellbeing measures and policies. Different countries have focused more or less on citizen consultation in the design of new wellbeing measures and policies. However, recent international studies highlight the dangers of failing to consult with citizens and the importance of citizen consultations in the design of wellbeing measures and policies. Researchers at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway have strongly argued for the value of citizen consultations.
The Health and Wellbeing research group at NUI Galway are working to understand how best to optimize collective intelligence of experts, citizens and politicians using simple and powerful systems thinking tools. They have used their systems thinking methods to consult with participants at the recent national Wellbeing in Ireland Conference. During the conference participants explored goals that need to be achieved in order to improve wellbeing in Ireland. There was a strong focus on strategic wellbeing goals focused on Education, Community, Health, Governance, Democracy, Environment, Equality, Lifestyle, Business and Employment, and Sustainability.
The Health and Wellbeing research group at NUI, Galway now seek participants for an important study that will expand on these initial conference findings. They will be holding workshops with Irish people of all ages and backgrounds. Participation in the study offers people a unique opportunity to offer their opinion on what goals we should pursue to enhance the wellbeing of the people of Ireland, thereby helping to shape what is measured at a national level.
Dr Mike Hogan of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway said: “One of the most important lessons we can learn from an analysis of the international wellbeing movement and various attempts by different countries to design a national wellbeing index is that you must consult with citizens in the design of your national wellbeing measure. It is the citizens who must decide what our national priorities should be.”
Workshops will be held in Dublin, Sligo and Galway in October and November, with a workshop for people of working age on Tuesday, 22 October at 6.45pm in NUI Galway. To participate in a workshop, please contact Claire McMoreland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 9232489, or online through the Wellbeing in Ireland Facebook page.