Stubb highlights key issues that affect personal and societal mood
Dubai-UAE: 11 February, 2018 – Alexander Stubb, Vice President of the European Investment Bank and former Prime Minister of Finland, offered a number of signposts that will point the way to happiness in our rapidly changing world.
Stubb’s session ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Scandinavian Happiness: How on Earth Can They Be Happy in the Cold’, touched upon what it takes for individual happiness, as well as reasons why five of the top happiest countries in the world happen to be Scandinavian. Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden in the top 10 of the World Happiness Report.
In terms of personal happiness, he gave advice on three areas: mind, body and relationships. He said: “This issue of happiness has been around a long time, Aristotle and John Locke both wrote about it. We talk a lot about indicators, and really the key for a happy mind is to keep a curious and open mindset and learn something new every day. How do we do this? Read, listen, write and observe. In terms of the body, in this age where we are image obsessed, it should not be about what we look like, it is what we feel like.”
Elaborating on personal happiness, Stubb recommended paying attention to sleep, good food and relationships. He added that it was even more important to pay attention to relationships in the age of gadgets and wearable tech. Highlighting the Scandinavian experience, he said: “There are 27 million people across Scandinavia and there are periods of dark and cold. So, what is the secret? First, it is important to say that governments cannot create happiness. But they can adopt a ‘nudge’ effect through the creation of the welfare state.
The segment was one of several sessions built around the theme ‘How Governments Can Design for Happiness & Wellbeing’, illustrating examples from Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia, the UAE and Australia.
The Global Dialogue for Happiness serves as a curtain raiser to the World Government Summit in 2018. The platform has happiness experts, government officials and representatives of international organizations examining ways to help governments ensure the happiness of their people. The event features workshops and sessions on topics related to happiness and well-being. The outcomes of these workshops and sessions will be compiled in a manual that will help governments raise the level of happiness across nations.