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Buying Happiness

18th May 2015 · 7:00pm - 8:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 Buying Happiness

The Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman (This Column Will Save Your Life), psychologist Philippa Perry (How to stay Sane), political economist William Davies (The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being) and  leading economist and behavioural scientist Andrew Oswald ask who is responsible for our happiness and have our emotions become a new resource to be bought and sold?

A Buddhist monk attended the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos to lecture the world’s leaders on mindfulness while governments are increasingly interested in quantifying happiness as ‘the Happiness index’ shows. The recentDSM-5, the manual of all diagnosable mental illnesses, for the first time included shyness and grief as treatable diseases.

But unhappiness and depression are concentrated in unequal societies with materialist and competitive values. Is the trend for life coaching, mood, nutrition and fitness monitoring, and so on missing the point? Should we be looking outwards to understand what is making us unhappy in the first place?

Running time 90 minutes.

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