A Good Life for All

Posts in category Wellbeing

Sufficiency Economy versus the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach

I recently contributed a chapter to a volume exploring Sufficiency Economy (SE), in which I endeavored to refine SE as a development approach for sustainable livelihoods and community empowerment. To do so, I compared SE to the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA), a framework put forth by the British Department for International Development (DFID) in the […]

Measuring Wellbeing: Exploring Alternatives to GDP

With the GDP turning 80, this year is sure to bring fruitful discussions on alternatives that will better measure wellbeing. These discussions are already happening, not just on the fringes of public discourse but in initiatives sponsored by world leaders in government and premier global organizations like the United Nations (UN) and the Organization for […]

Global Volunteer: Ethnography of a Tsunami Aid Organization in Thailand

The tsunami of December 26, 2004 swept away entire villages in Khao Lak, Thailand: houses, fishing boats, family businesses, shrimp farms, livestock, vegetable gardens, and people. Those who survived faced the seemingly insurmountable work of rebuilding their lives, but they didn’t have to do it alone. Volunteers from across Thailand and across the globe poured […]

“Resisting Global Capitalism”: Lessons from the Asoke Alternative

“Resisting global capitalism” is one way to frame efforts to create conditions that oster socially just and environmentally sustainable economic activity. Far from being passive victims of global processes, individuals and social groups across the globe endeavor in diverse ways to resist, reshape, appropriate, and create alternatives to the dominant neoliberal economic model. Alternatives that […]

Specifying Elements of Wellbeing…Democractically

As I was writing yesterday’s post, How to Thrive: Specifying the Universal Elements of Wellbeing, I started thinking about this paper I had presented at the International Conference on “Happiness and Public Policy” in Bangkok several years ago. It elaborated a democratic procedure through which communities could create a list of capabilities they wanted to […]

How to Thrive: Specifying the Universal Elements of Wellbeing

Although wellbeing can be subjective—the specifics of what makes a good life for one person surely differ from another’s—it seems safe to say that there are universally necessary elements. On a broad level, we must attend to all six dimensions of wellbeing: an individual’s mental/physical, material, social, and existential wellbeing, as well as that of […]

Why Wellbeing?

When most people think about the wellbeing of society, they tend to think in financial terms—how is the economy doing? Is it growing? By what percent? Yet there are fundamental problems with the overemphasis on economic growth as THE path to prosperity. Besides the fact that it’s based on Western values of material accumulation and […]