World Happiness Report Wins Award For the Betterment Of the Human Condition

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NEW YORK, New York, September 18, 2014 – The International Society for Quality of Life Studies has awarded the World Happiness Report the 2014 Award for the Betterment of the Human Condition. The award was granted to the Report co-editors: Professor John F. Helliwell, Lord Richard Layard, and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs at the society’s recent annual conference in Berlin, Germany. John Helliwell and Jeffrey D. Sachs accepted the award on September 17, 2014, by video conference.

“Our progress and the report itself are built on the foundations built over many years by the aInternational Society for Quality of Life Studies researchers,” said Professor John F. Helliwell.

The first World Happiness Report was commissioned for the 2012 United Nations High–Level Meeting on Wellbeing and Happiness, and the second report was released in September 2013. The first report drew international attention as a landmark first survey of the state of global happiness, which provides valuable evidence towards improving the world’s wellbeing and sustainable development.

The 2013 report delves in more detail into the analysis of the global happiness data, examining trends over time and breaking down each country’s score into its component parts, so that citizens and policy makers can understand their country’s ranking. It draws connections to other major initiatives to measure wellbeing, including those conducted by the OECD and UNDP’s Human Development Report; and provides guidance for policy makers on how to effectively incorporate wellbeing into their decision making processes.

“More and more world leaders are speaking about the importance of wellbeing as a guide for their nations and the world,” said Professor Jeffrey Sachs. “As the world negotiates the new Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, for the period 2015-2030, the World Happiness Report is helping to support the inclusion of wellbeing measures among the SDG indicators. The World Happiness Report offers rich evidence that the systematic measurement and analysis of subjective wellbeing (SWB) can teach us a lot about ways to improve human wellbeing in the sustainable development era.”

The International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS) is the largest international science association for quality of life research. It grants this award for significant accomplishments in developing and using of quality of life measures for social good. Previous recipients of this distinguished award include The Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (2012), Transparency International (2010), the South African Institute of Race Relations (2006), and UNDP (2000).

Erin Trowbridge, Communications Director, Earth Institute: