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Exploring the many dimensions of wellbeing

Exploring the many dimensions of wellbeing -...

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Exploring the many dimensions of wellbeing  share7 by  Professor Richard Coles, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design   27 Jun 2011   Richard Coles, Professor of Urban Landscape and Environmental Interaction at Birmingham Institute of Art &   Design, considers the many dimensions of well-being in the context of work by the Office of National Statistics   to establish a national measure of well-being. Professor Coles will be speaking at  Well-being 2011 , an international conference aiming to further   understanding of well-being as an holistic concept, taking place on 18 and 19 July 2011 in Birmingham. Many readers will have taken part in the recent events organised by the Office of National Statistics, where the  challenge is to find a  national measure of well-being . Whether we can actually find any single measure or indeed simple answers is certainly challenging, but the  very fact that the UK Government is looking for suitable measures is encouraging. The ONS anticipate that it  will take them around two years to complete their task and the likelihood is that there will not be any one  general measure rather a cluster of measures or indicators that express levels of well-being or the extent to  which we are happy. The right to happiness is, of course,  stated  in the American constitution: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator   with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Despite this, the USA is not the happiest nation. According to researchers at  The World Database of Happiness   at Erasmus University in Holland, Denmark is officially the happiest nation in the World, followed closely by  Malta, Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland and Canada; the USA ranks 16th. While the USA right to happiness is not quite so fundamentally expressed in the UK, the quest for some form of  a statistic is really quite exciting, not because we will be able to actually measure it in any quantitative way but 
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