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Christchurch City Council Media Release 20 June 2002

Is life getting better or worse? Progress, health and well-being

International speaker, author, ministerial consultant and academic Richard Eckersley visits Christchurch

Beneath the satisfaction of everyday life, people are looking for a different paradigm, a new story to define who they are and where they want to go. Instead of one narrowly focused on material progress, they want a coherent vision that better meets human needs and expresses a better balance between economic welfare, social equity and environmental sustainability - a vision that reflects the reality that these are, ultimately, inextricably linked. They want the option to weigh and trade economic, social and environmental costs and benefits (Eckersley 2002).

Richard Eckersley is currently a fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, Canberra, where he is working on aspects of progress and well-being. He was previously with the CSIRO Resource Futures Programme.

His work covers many aspects of whether life is getting better or worse, including: measures of progress; the relationships between economic growth, quality of life and ecological sustainability; the social determinants of health and well-being; happiness and life satisfaction; visions of the future; and youth suicide.

Current and recent projects include: developing a national index of subjective well-being; analysing the cultural correlates of well-being; convening conferences and editing and contributing to books on 'The social origins of health and well-being' (2001), 'Measuring progress: Is life getting better?' (1998) and 'Challenge to change: Australia in 2020' (1995); researching and writing a discussion paper, 'Quality of life in Australia: an analysis of public perceptions' for the Australia Institute (1999); initiating and participating in a study on young people's expected and preferred futures for Australia (1996); and contributing to the Commonwealth Government report, 'Australia: State of the Environment 1996' (1996).

Eckersley will be giving a seminar in Christchurch, sponsored by Healthy Christchurch.

Free Admission All Welcome

For more information: please contact - ph 941 8882

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