Well-being 2011: International Conference Exploring the Multi-dimensions of Well-being

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WELL-BEING 2011: The First International Conference Exploring the Multi-dimensions of Well-being

Hosted by Birmingham City University and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), 18th – 19th July 2011

Happy Well-being 2011 delegates

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The Well-being 2011 conference is now closed. We would like to thank all of the delegates and speakers who attended for contributing to the thoughts and ideas discussed and in helping to make it a successful and enjoyable event.

Please feel free to offer any feedback here: http://www.exprofesso.co.uk/wb11_feedback.asp

Well-being 2011 Conference papers download - 37MB zip file

The Well-being 2011 Conference Team

The 18th and the 19th July saw around 150 delegates drawn from a wide range of professions come together to discuss the multi-dimensions of well-being, in an international two day conference event - ‘Well-being 2011’ - hosted by Birmingham City University in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The conference set out to explore the current agenda relating to well-being, inviting a diverse audience drawn from different disciplines, sectors and organisations ranging from the environment, social, health , arts and humanities, including architects, landscape architects, health and community workers, Birmingham City Council, Dudley NHS, community and housing organisations, research councils, and universities. Truly international in flavour, participants attended from across the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales, from mainland Europe, the USA, Canada and as far afield as New Zealand and Australia, all with the aim of helping to explore and define what ‘well-being’ actually means in today’s society.

The event was organised by a cross faculty team, led by Professor Richard Coles, and supported by Zoe Millman, Dr Jill Collins (BIAD) and Charmaine Stint (RIES). Faculties involved included Business School, Health, ELSS, BIAD and TEE, with key individuals assisting in the programme development and providing contacts, in particular Dr. Lubo Jankovic, Veronica Coatham, Professor John Sparrow and Kate Broom. Jerome Turner of User-lab was integral to setting up the website. The event was made possible with financial support from the Higher Education Innovation Fund and was supported by the Enterprise Development team within Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services (RIES).

Professor David Maguire, Pro Vice Chancellor, Birmingham City University and Professor Richard Coles opened the event, followed by the first keynote speaker, Ruth Reed, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and an academic at BIAD. A range of keynotes speakers featured across both days including Professor Norma Daykin, University of the West of England; Sue Forsyth, IMPROVE, Peabody Housing Trust; Dr Satish Kumar, Editor, Resurgence Magazine; Dr Guy Holmes and Nicki Evans, both from Shropshire Primary Healthcare Trust.

The aims of the event were to encourage open discussion, to explore the concepts of well-being and happiness, for delegates to debate what ‘well-being’ means to individuals, how it can be supported and to advance our overall understanding, with over 70 papers presented in a series of breakout sessions and an additional 25 poster presentations. Delegates also had the opportunity to participate in an interactive walk through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, led by Simon Gulliver, Plant Collections Manager; delegates were able to log their levels of well-being at key points along the walk, resulting in data which can be used to assess how each individual felt and responded to the environment.

The conference was set in the context that the UK Government is trying to devise a means of assessing the Nation’s overall well-being and to embrace measures broader than those currently used to express the state of the country, where the UK Office for National Statistics have asked such questions as ‘how happy are you at the moment’ or ‘what makes you happy’? A review meeting will be held in the new academic term in order to consolidate the discussions which have been generated as a result of the Well-being 2011 conference and to consider future actions such as integration with existing research, future collaborations and partnerships.

For more information, contact: richard.coles@bcu.ac.uk