Wellbeing refers to both material and social aspects of people’s lives, as well as to the overall living environment. Material wellbeing refers to having enough, in decent quality, of the basic necessities, particularly shelter, food, clothing, education, and health care. In cities, it can also refer to having access to good transport: safe, comfortable, and convenient conditions for walking and cycling, and a good and affordable public transit system.
Social wellbeing includes connections to people and institutions, to strong, vibrant communities, and to thriving neighbourhoods. It also refers to respect for human rights, including the rights of workers and of people with disabilities.
The Institute of Wellbeing facilitates the exchange of ideas and information about approaches to increasing wellbeing. Our main activities include promoting the ideas in the book Beyond Apologies, Defining and Achieving an Economics of Wellbeing (available for download on this website) and involvement of youth in advocacy for change, via We Squared Clubs (www.wesquared.club). Other activities include lectures in Bangladesh and overseas, classes, policy-focused research and internships.
YOUR SKILL #1
YOUR SKILL #2
YOUR SKILL #3
Our public speaking training develops authentic, inspiring speakers who can lead change. Our training is known for its fun, human and insightful atmosphere. Whether you’re a nervous speaker or an aspiring thought leader, we seek out your brilliance and help you bring it to your public. […]
The presentation skills courses are kept small and are in a supportive environment to allow for maximum engagement and learning. After taking this presentation skills course, you will be able to notice gains in effectively communicating your ideas and enhance your personal image. […]
Revolt Against Plastic
One-use plastics are a menace to our health and environment. Our oceans are filled with plastic debris. Plastic kills birds, fish, and other life that mistakes it for food. It is time to revolt against one-use containers.
A parklet is a small park, temporary or permanent, in the space otherwise occupied by one or more parked cars. It is a way of returning some urban space to people for their recreation and socializing.
Making our cities carfree would drastically reduce a number of pressing problems including traffic congestion, climate change air pollution, traffic crashes, and obesity. We could save vast amounts of time, space, and money while living in vastly more pleasant cities.
Help make the city green and enjoy fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables by growing food on your verandahs and rooftop!
by Debra Efroymson In a famous memo back in 1991, then Chief Economist of the World Bank Lawrence Summers wrote that “A given amount of health-impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages.” Decades later, debates about the memo still rage. The idea Read more about Beyond Apologies: Myth #11: Money is all that matters?[…]
by Debra Efroymson A good friend of mine joined the Peace Corps when she was already a grandmother. She spent two years living in a simple home with a dirt floor, doing her best to help her poor neighbours. Upon her return to the United States, she got a job which she hated. Her only reason Read more about The victims are real[…]
by Debra Efroymson One day while working at an insurance company, I saw the employees noisily celebrating in the hallways. What was the occasion, I wondered? It turned out that they had figured out an excuse to avoid paying out life insurance to a recent widow. Decades later I read about an elderly Indian woman who Read more about Beyond Apologies: Myth #10: The wealthier the corporations, the better off…they are![…]
by Debra Efroymson I am buying fruit at the local market in a small Vietnamese town. The woman selling fruit engages me in conversation. Inevitably, she asks me if I have children and suggests that I have one now. I laugh: “I’ve passed the expiration date!” She laughs with me, exclaiming, “That’s what I always say!” Read more about The infinite value of connections[…]
by Debra Efroymson A friend gets an ear infection in the middle of the night. He visits various private hospitals but none have a doctor available. He finally gives up and goes to a public hospital, which is shabby and not particularly clean, but where there are doctors on duty. On another occasion his cousin falls Read more about Beyond Apologies: Myth #9: Private sector efficiency[…]
by Debra Efroymson Riding in a rickshaw in the colorful but noisy city of Barisal, I passed a tiny box that was a vendor’s stall. Amused, I wondered if it had been designed for a midget. When I passed it again a couple hours later, imagine my delight on finding a midget inside! When we talk Read more about Midget-sized solutions to poverty[…]
by Debra Efroymson Some of us have met that guy who is always pushing the rest of us to be more generous. He’s the one who says that everyone in the group should cut back on their personal expenses so that they can save money to donate to a worthy cause. People go around the circle: Read more about Beyond Apologies, Myth #8: Be generous—to the rich[…]
by Debra Efroymson A few decades ago, walking in Boston, a very dirty homeless man asked me for spare change. I dropped a couple of coins into his palm, doing my best not to touch him. He then put his hand in his pocket, took out all the coins, and said, “I have about ten dollars. Read more about Lady, can you spare a dime?[…]
by Debra Efroymson An old man pedals me to work one day in his rickshaw. We start chatting. When he hears that I’m from the US, he sighs with envy. “Ah, everyone is rich there.” I try to explain to him that, no, actually we have lots of poverty. He is surprised. Poverty in America? But Read more about Beyond Apologies, Myth #7: Inequality[…]
by Debra Efroymson In Hanoi, Vietnam, I pause one day to talk to an old man sitting in a low bamboo chair, selling t-shirts on the sidewalk. It is hard to judge his age, but he is surely well past retirement age, and he does not look particularly poor. Shouldn’t he be resting at home, enjoying Read more about Work can be about more than income[…]