John Doe

If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.

Mary Taylor

You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up everything you have.

Two days to think about science and happiness

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In the morals of antiquity it is the natural end of man; It was neglected in the following centuries to make room for other values, but it returned to its importance during modernity with a political charge, so much so that it appeared in the American Declaration of Independence. Today, the concept of happiness is at the center, as well as renewed philosophical thinking, as well as interdisciplinary scientific research, which we will try, on Monday the 17th and Tuesday the 18th, to evaluate the first edition of Lugano Happiness ForumIt is an event organized by the Lee Kum-Shiong Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard University in Boston, the Ipsa Scientific Research Foundation and the city of Lugano, in cooperation with the Italian University of Switzerland and the University of Lac.

The forum, which will be held in Room One at Luck, will feature about two dozen speakers from around the world, including Julian Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University, Garth Grahame, head of healthcare and public health at Google and YouTube, and Karen Guggenheim. Co-founder of the World Happiness Summit, Julia Hotz, is a journalist, writer and social prescription expert, as well as the event’s curator, Fish K. Viswanath, director of the aforementioned Lee Kum-Shiong Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard University.

The Lugano Happiness Forum is part of the Culture and Health Project ( is dedicated to artistic and cultural practices that improve people’s physical and mental health. “The important results we obtained through this project naturally prompted us to think about happiness,” explained Silvia Mesiti, Director of the IBSA Foundation. An important part of the positive effects brought about by cultural activities actually stems from the social dimension. One of the aspects that emerge from the studies on happiness that will be presented at the Happiness Forum, Mesiti continued, is specifically related to the link between social and human relationships. Happiness, or if we want to put it back, with the fact that the opposite of happiness is loneliness. Happiness could therefore become one of the topics that the Culture and Health Project regularly addresses, Mesiti concluded.

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As mentioned earlier, scientific research on happiness follows an interdisciplinary approach, investigating from different perspectives a concept that is undoubtedly fundamental in determining people’s quality of life but at the same time difficult to define. Under the guidance of Fish K. Viswanath, some specific topics have been identified to be addressed, with the help of experts, in the nine sessions that make up the forum. Clearly, one of the cross-cutting themes concerns the complex relationship between new social dynamics, largely dominated by digital technologies, and happiness. We will try to understand to what extent scientific and technological developments can improve, or, on the contrary, threaten individual and collective happiness. In today’s fast-paced world, the pursuit of happiness and social well-being has become an important goal for individuals, societies and politicians. This session aims to explore different strategies and methods to promote happiness and improve the social well-being of individuals and communities.

Another aspect related to the social dimension of happiness concerns its deep connection with justice, which requires broadening our view by also taking into account social structures and systems so that all people have the possibility of “pursuing happiness,” as the American puts it. Declaration of independence.

Particular attention, as for other initiatives of the Culture and Health Project, to concrete initiatives, with sessions dedicated to exploring strategies and good practices – based on scientific evidence – to improve people’s well-being in different contexts, including relevant corporate contexts. Positive work culture. There will also be moments focusing on how to transfer scientific knowledge about happiness and well-being to policymakers.

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The Lugano Happiness Forum also aspires to advance research: the event will in fact end with the presentation and launch of the Harvard Garmin Happiness Study, a research project that aims to collect daily measurements of well-being from more than ten thousand people, combining data on daily activities, health metrics, social interactions and physical environments. . Data will be collected passively from smartphones and smart watches on an ongoing basis with the aim of being able to measure subjective well-being by identifying the dynamics, determinants and downstream effects of subjective well-being in daily life.

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