School for Wellbeing’s Annual Summer Course “Happiness for Global Transformation: Towards an Economy of Sharing”
The summer course consists of a four-week participatory learning experience, including a study visit throughout Bhutan, the country of Gross National Happiness (GNH), and excursions to new paradigm projects of social development in Thailand.
The School for Wellbeing intends to bring a broad diversity of ‘partner’ organizations, independent researchers, thinkers, and activists together in a research- and evidence-based network for dialogue. Annually the School for Wellbeing organises a Summer Course as its central creative space for networking, dialogue and exchanges for global wellbeing.
The purpose of the course is to contemplate contemporary cultural dilemmas, poverty, injustice and environmental degradation from a holistic point of view. To explore happiness: perhaps being not in the first (as we are made to believe) a need that should be satisfied by external factors. To understand Happiness maybe understood as “life’s most important skill”, a capability to overcome suffering and structural violence.
Module 1: Introduction to Wellbeing-Interbeing
This module will offer a holistic approach of learning through heart, head, hands and Earth as our home. It will include social interaction, meditation, ecological consciousness and excursions to community development in Thailand.
Module 2: Happiness for Global Transformation: An Academic Integration
The academic session will provide conceptual frameworks on happiness and wellbeing by various experts through interactive and participatory learning methodology. The topics include Concepts of Happiness and an Economy of Sharing; Happiness in World Religions and Philosophy; GNH and International Public Policy; New Indicator for Wellbeing: the GDP Debate; and Alternative Development and GNH Movement.
Module 3: Study Visit to Bhutan
This is an immersion study visit to the land of Gross National Happiness (GNH). The journey focuses on exploring different practices related to the four pillar of GNH: socio-economic development, the environment, cultural promotion, and good governance – in Bhutan.
Module 4: Synthesis: Contemplative Session
The final module consists of a 3-day reflective session on the experiences of the summer course; and one-day concluding session of individual reports and presentation and sharing of the participants’ final exchange of networking and future action-research.