The New World Book of Happiness - News
18/06/23 Happiness in the Gulf States
Louise Lambert has confirmed she will write a special contribution about the fast-growing interest in happiness in the Gulf States. She is a former Associate Professor in psychology (Canada) who has lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates since 2003. She is the founder and editor of the Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology and editor of the first positive psychology textbook in the region (‘Positive psychology in the Middle East/North Africa’) research. Louise Lambert developed Kuwait’s Bareec positive education programme, which is rolled out in dozens of schools around the country, as well as Dubai College’s positive education programme.
16/06/23 Happiness and Islam explained
Noraini Moor (DPhil in Oxford, now teaching at Ibn Haldun University in Turkey and twice served as the head of the psychology department at the International Islamic University in Malaysia) has confirmed she will explain in 1000 words what happiness means for Islam.
14/06/23 Former European President takes part
Former European President Herman Van Rompuy offered copies of the first edition of The World Book of Happiness (2010) to all 200 world leaders of the day time (including Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel), with the goal of putting happiness and well-being on the international political agenda. How does he look back and forward? We are honoured that he has agreed to write a special contribution for the new volume.
12/06/23 The five world religions: the essence
Recent research shows that, overall, actively religious people tend to be slightly happier than others. There is some evidence that religious participation makes a difference in some (but not all) areas of happiness and well-being. That’s why we have decided to ask experts in the field (including the Vatican) to explain how happiness is viewed by the world’s five leading religions: Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Meanwhile, they are given 200 words with which to distil and explain ‘the essence’ of their religion clearly and simply.
09/06/23 Another ‘founding father’ joins the project
Ruut Veenhoven (Erasmus University Rotterdam), has shown that happiness can be used as a reliable measure to assess progress in societies, which was one of the sources of inspiration for the United Nations to adopt happiness measures as a holistic approach to development. Veenhoven is the founding director of the World Database of Happiness and a founding editor of the Journals of Happiness Studies. He has been described as ‘the godfather of happiness studies and a leading authority on worldwide levels of happiness from country to country, whose work earned him international acclaim’.
He says: ‘My days are numbered. I have enjoyed spending much of them on the study of happiness. I am happy to see much of the gained knowledge reflected in this New World Book of Happiness. I hope this will add to the happiness of its readers and indirectly also to the happiness of a greater number of people.’
07/06/23 Including the unhappiest countries in the world
Happiness should not be limited to the ‘happy few’. The New World Book of Happiness will give special attention to contributions from the countries that score ‘worst’ in the rankings of the United Nations World Happiness Report: Afghanistan and Lebanon. There will also be a special witness report from Ukraine.
03/06/23 Richard Layard writes the epilogue
Sir Richard Layard (London School of Economics) is a world authority on Happiness Economics and founder of the worldwide ‘Action for Happiness’, reaching out to more than 300,000 members in 190 countries. He calls The New World Book of Happiness a great idea at the best possible moment in time and is glad to support its mission.
In his most recent book, Richard Layard makes the following appeal: ‘We should each of us, in all our choices, aim to produce the greatest happiness possible by contributing to the happiness of others. Let’s put people first. We have enough knowledge, let’s put it into action. The world happiness movement will surely go from strength to strength. What is counter-cultural today will in time become the mainstream. And the result will be a happier society.’
29/05/23 The new cover revealed
The cover of The New World Book of Happiness is an eye-catcher, with its bold blue circle on a white background. This circle represents the book’s main concept of ‘the essence’, as well as our shared responsibility to care for the blue planet that we call home. It is a ‘New Book’ for a ‘New World’.
27/05/23 Martin Seligman supports the initiative
Professor Martin Seligman, founding father of positive psychology, USA, has confirmed that he will write the introduction for The New World Book of Happiness. He says: ‘Our work on happiness is now at an inflexion point and this volume will help make this inflexion even more beneficial for research and practice.’
10/05/23 The New World Book of Happiness will be released in October 2023
In 2010, Leo Bormans published his first book, The World Book of Happiness, which became an international bestseller. Fifteen years ago he started research and now returns to the topic, inviting 100 world-leading experts in positive psychology from five continents to share their core insights on happiness, well-being, and quality of life for The New World Book of Happiness – The Essence.
Each of them has 1000 words to capture ‘the essence’ of happiness and to provide up to 6 actionable steps to improve our lives on both the individual and social levels. This challenging task prompts us to expand our intercultural knowledge and turn ‘reflection’ into ‘action’. What have we learned and how can we move forward? New priorities for a radical paradigm shift.