The UK is one of the countries at the vanguard of the wellbeing debate. In 2010 David Cameron tasked the Office of National Statistics to come up with a way of measuring wellbeing, including peoples own assessment of their wellbeing and satisfaction with their lives. Their first results were published in summer 2012, and full national wellbeing accounts will follow. Scotland has been measuring wellbeing through a dashboard of indicators since 2007.T
his report shares the findings of a project undertaken by Carnegie UK Trust and IPPR North to ask what needs to happen to ensure that measuring wellbeing is made to matter in policy-making practice. The project involved visiting six case studies that are, in different ways, further ahead than the UK with measuring wellbeing These were: the City of Somerville (Massachusetts, USA); the Commonwealth of Virginia (USA); Torontos Vital Signs project (Canada); the City of Guelph (Canada); the Canadian Index of Wellbeing; and France.
What is clear from the case studies is thatleadership is critical for a wellbeing agenda to prosper. Adopting a serious approach to promoting wellbeing requires changes to conventional policy-making processes and ways of understanding the world.