Newsletter Nr 5, 2011 Happiness


Newsletter in English

For the first time the newsletter is in English. Some time ago I got an invitation from CEMUS, Centre for Environment and Development Studies at The Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD) to give a lecture. CSD is an interdisciplinary center established at Uppsala University based on collaboration between Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). 

My lecture was about happiness in consumer society and part of the course The Global Economy - Environment, Development and Globalisation.



Can we be Happy within Ecological Limits?

We know that we live in an unsustainable way. We know it probably will change, due to climate change, peak oil and a disintegrated world economy. Can we still be happy? Are we even particularly happy now?

When GDP (Gross Domestic Product ) gets above the limit of basic needs, positive correlation between income and happiness levels out. If you are poor, you will of course be happier if you get more money. But when you have got enough money to cover your basic needs, you will not get happier if you get more money. Lottery winners for example get happier only for a year after their win, then they end up at the same happiness level as before.

Back to nature, turf-huts and non-material values  and it will all work out? Of course not! Instead we should use all our knowledge to develop our modern lifestyles. But we have to think interdisciplinary. We can't solve the problems with only one pair of glasses on. We have to put together the recent knowledge from different academic fields.

To the full article >>


Dog with newsletter

Power Point Presentation

Power Point presentation from the lecture 2011-11-16 including references and websites. Happiness in consumer society - Can we be happy within ecological limits?

Download >>


Happiness within ecological limits

The lecture had the purpose of giving a range of different perspectives on happiness and the man - nature relationship and present theories from different fields such as Positive Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Neuroscience, Ecophilosophy, Medicine etc.

The ambition was also to present examples from different parts of the world: Nepal, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Bhutan, Cuba and the Nordic countries concerning happiness, health, sustainable land use, food production & societies, and to show that humanity is more dependent on the natural environment than on things and materialistic behavior, if we want to live a good life.

Uppsala University lecture


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