20. March 2017


Preconference Workshops

Preconference Workshops
Several preconference workshops will be hosted in the morning and afternoon on Wednesday, September 27th.
PhD Breakfast Session
This year a Ph.D. breakfast session will be organized at the ISQOLS conference in Innsbruck, Austria. The Ph.D. breakfast session will take place on Friday, September 29th in the morning.

Preconference Workshops

We are pleased to announced six preconference workshops prior to the 15th annual meeting of ISQOLS. All six preconference workshops are provided free of charge to registered conference participants and will be held on Wednesday, September 27th. As space is limited the selection of participants will be based on a first come - first serve basis. Please sign up at your earliest convenience through the conference registration page.

Details to each workshop can be found below.

A Crash Course on the Psychology of Well-Being and Quality of Life

Facilitator: M. Joseph Sirgy

Time: 9:00 - 13:00

The goal of the proposed workshop (4 hours) is to provide students and interested scholars with an overview of the evolving field of study, namely the psychology of well-being and quality of life. The content of the workshop will be based on my book: Sirgy, M. Joseph (2012). The Psychology of Quality of Life: Hedonic Well-Being, Life Satisfaction, and Eudaimonia. Dordrecht: Springer. The workshop will provide an overview of much of the research on (1) the concepts well-being and their measurement, (2) the consequences of well-being (e.g., health, achievement and work), (3) the effects of objective reality (socio-economic, political, cultural, income, age, gender, personal activities, genetics, etc.) on well-being, (4) the effects of subjective reality (personality,affect and cognition, beliefs and values, needs and need satisfaction, personal goals, self-concept, social comparisons, etc.) on well-being, (5)domain satisfaction (work well-being, residential well-being, material well-being, social well-being, leisure well-being, health well-being, etc.), and (6) well-being of specific population groups (children, youth, women, elderly, etc.).

Getting Certified as Community Indicators Researcher

Facilitator: M. Joseph Sirgy

Time: 14:00 - 18:00

The goal of this workshop (4 hours) is to provide an overview of ISQOLS certification program regarding Community Indicators Research. The workshop will expose participants to many concepts involved in the training course-concepts related to theoretical foundations of community indicators projects, the planning of a community indicators project, data collection methods and techniques used in indicators projects, and dissemination of the study results to salient stakeholder groups. The workshop will also expose participants to a prototype indicators project. Finally, participants will learn about the application process and background and credentials required for admission into this certification program.

Increasing Well-Being by Setting Goals from Within

Facilitator: Vesna Leme

Time: 14:00 - 18:00

Increasing Well-Being by Setting Goals from Within This paper presents the Best Life Model that was developed after the master dissertation research into happiness through positive psychology approach, and training in Heal Your Life philosophy. The Model can be classified as a model of personal and career transformation. The Best Life Model can effectively be used in coaching and other consulting and educational practices which are applied in order to improve people’s quality of life. The Best Life Model presents theoretical and practical foundation for reconnecting with our true self and specifying our goals from within. It encompasses six main components of the best journey towards accomplishing our goals: pleasure and satisfaction, flow and enthusiasm, focus and mindfulness, awareness and self-reflection, attributes of goals, and proactivity with willingness to receive. Furthermore, it offers ten practical steps towards achieving our goals, from reconnecting with our values, living mindfully, to engaging in supportive activities, becoming more courageous and artistically creative, as well as constructing our action plan and vision boards. The Best Life Model enables people to become more aware of their personal mission, life purpose and reconnect with their inner wisdom and joy, the most important sources of happiness and well-being.
1. After the workshop the participants will be able to help their clients/family/students/employees etc

o Reconnect with their true values
o Live more mindfully
o Set their goals from within
o Engage in goal-supportive activities

2. After the workshop the participants will be able to transfer the Best Life Model into business settings. Issues to be addressed:

1) Distinctions between pleasure, satisfaction, success, joy
2) Importance of self-awareness and self-reflection
3) “I love you, but do I love me?”
4) Becoming more aware of attributes of goals and their impact on well-being of individuals
5) “I am proactive, but am I willing to receive?” Activities: Presentation, pair work, group work, creative activities, individual exercises, dialogue, discussion etc Description of the intended participants: People who find themselves in this quote: “Love yourself, be the manager of your life.”

The maximum number of participants for the workshop: 20 

Multi-Sensory Sculpting: Eliciting embodied thoughts around quality of life

Facilitator: Maria Kreuzer

Time: 14:00 - 18:00

Research in neuroscience shows that human knowledge is embodied: multi-sensory experiences in everyday life are stored as multi-sensory mental images in modality-specific regions of the human brain mostly at a unconscious level (Barsalou, 1999). Retrieving embodied knowledge requires a) the stimulation of various senses that were originally involved in experiences in order to activate non-conscious, multi-sensory images (e.g., Damasio 1994) and b) the possibility to allow individuals to express themselves metaphorically in a format that is similar to their mental images (Johnson 2009). The embodiment of knowledge has implication for researching quality of life: Quantitative research approaches have limited power in activating and retrieving multi-sensory mental images stored at a unconscious level. Qualitative research approaches (e.g., interviews, picture elicitation) may cognitively activate multi-sensory, non-conscious images but do not fully support individuals in expressing these thoughts. Within the workshop I will present Multi-Sensory Sculpting(MSS) as a qualitative research method aiming to elicit embodied thoughts and feelings related to quality of life. Participants of a MSS-session first explore the different materials of the MSS toolkit which pre-activate different senses originally involved in daily experiences. Respondents are then asked to build a sculpture (individual or team) representing the meaning behind a specific topic, experience, or concept. The sculpture then serves as stimulus for a projective interview (or group discussion). The aim of the workshop is a critical discussion whether and how MSS could serve as method in researching quality of life. Researchers interested in qualitative research, creativity, mixed methods, and embodied knowledge are warmly welcome.

The importance of teaching Quality of Life Theory and Methodology in Social Science Programs

Facilitator: Graciela Tonon

Time: 14:00 - 18:00

Master Program in Social Sciences, Universidad de Palermo, Argentina. We define quality of life as a multi-dimensional concept which involves a number of domains which people experience in diverse forms according to the importance attributed to them in their lives, considering their expectations, their values, and their experiences. Teaching theory and research methods in quality of life implies the possibility of integrating the objective and subjective dimensions, considering that subjectivity is constructed on the basis of the daily interaction of the persons as well as their interaction with their environment. In this respect, the act of teaching is also a political act, which leads us to consider that the role of politics should not only be restricted to the solution of material problems, but also to develop an awareness of people's life daily experiences. In the Social Sciences' field it is vital to study how to think and integrate knowledge and imagine new forms of analysis, to excel the traditional paradigm based in memorize information and concepts hence the proposal of quality of life shows us the way towards integration. The objectives of this workshop are: to present the proposition of quality of life (theoretical/methodological) as a possibility to construct a new outlook on the social/political field studies; to present different courses that includes the vision of quality of life in different programs in Social Sciences at graduate and post-graduate level. Intended participants: teachers and students of graduate and post graduate Social Science Programs.

Envisioning and Enacting System Change for Sustainable, Happy, Resilient Societies

Facilitators: Laura Musikanski, Scott Cloutier and BethAnn Morrison

Time: 14:00 - 18:00

With the UAE and two states in India following Bhutan's lead in appointing ministers of happiness, and with the closure of the Dialogue for Global Happiness at the World Government Summit during Dubai's World Government Summit focusing on happiness measurements, policy, cities & education as well as happiness & sustainability, community & health in addition to personal & organizational happiness; with all this, what is the role of grassroots activists, community organizers, ground breakers, visionaries and others who seek to break out of today's modules guided by GDP, profit and wealth into a revolutionary new world where happiness, well-being, sustainability, quality of life, thriving. love and compassion for all beings really do come first?

We will explore the dreams, possibilities, goals, hopes and inspirations of our work as well as identify and tackle our burning concern about our work, bringing them up together and exploring them together in a loving, caring, and grateful environment.

One example of an area we will discuss is the issue of happiness and sustainability. As Diener spoke about at the 2015 ISQOLS conference, about 40 countries are now measuring happiness. With the UN's ONS well-being metrics focusing on SWL, affect & eudaimonia and bringing in other areas (conditions or, as in Bhutan, domains) in a detached manner; with the OECD Guidelines on SWB indicators also bringing in other areas in a detached manner, they are thereby not directly linking the sustainability of our ecosystems and social & economical equality of our social structure to happiness/WB. (Even the Better Life Index encourages prioritizing so that the environment and basic human rights can be left behind). In light of these and other factors, there is a real threat to all our work in the happiness movement. This concern posed as three questions; 1) How are we going to ensure happiness measurements do not get us in a same but worse place in terms of environmental degradation, growing economic inequality and human rights violations? 2) Put another way, how do we link happiness, well-being, beyond GDP, QOL (or whatever you want to call it) with the wellbeing of our planet, our societies? 3) Put another way, how are we going to ensure the happiness movement does not result in a world with a few selfish, rich, seemingly very happy people living behind walls in a dream world where everyone and everything else suffers even with the research tells them that inequality, environmental degradation and selfishness do not lead to happiness? We know Bhutan has been using a single index from its GNH index, without prioritizing their domains. We know, as Jeffrey Sachs responded when asked these questions that “individuals could express a high level of SWB while contributing to environmental crisis, either because of a lack of awareness or a lack of moral reflection incorporated into their reported SWB. Ideally, in well-considered lives, SWB would incorporate social wellbeing as part of individual virtue and life satisfaction, but there is nothing automatic in this that I can see.” How do we address this issue in our work? How do we address your deep concern about the happiness movement for a new economic and social paradigm where all beings on our planet thrive, people, animals, plants and waters, even the rocks.

This 4 hour workshop held on the day before the conference is for the community organizers, academics, activists, innovators and nonprofit leaders who are making a difference in people's lives and communities, including their own, for positive real change. Coming out of the workshop we plan to have a working model for system change in which the scope of each of our work fits and that enables each of us to work cooperate, collaborate and co-create together and apart in ways that support and foster each other in advancing the happiness/beyond GDP movement.

By invitation/application only. Send inquiries for application materials to EnvisioningWorkshop2017@happycounts.org

The maximum number of participants for the workshop: 25

PhD Breakfast Session

The International Society for Quality of Life Studies has organized several Ph.D. workshops or sessions in its history. The first workshop was held at the conference in Girona, Spain, in 2000, and the last in Venice, Italy, in 2012. These workshops were evaluated as highly valuable, both by the involved students as the experts in their field.

This year, a Ph.D. breakfast session will be organized at the ISQOLS conference in Innsbruck, Austria.
The Ph.D. breakfast session will be held on Friday, September 29th in the morning.

We invite Ph.D. students to apply, who are in an advanced stage of their studies, and who would like to present their work to Faculty members in the broad Quality of Life area. The session gives you an opportunity to discuss your work in depth with leading experts in your specific subject. Another advantage of this breakfast session over general paper sessions is that 45 minutes are dedicated to your work, instead of the usual 15-20 minutes.

The idea is to have a session in which you present either a relevant paper or (more preliminary) projects of your Ph.D. study. A selected group of experts will be invited to listen to your presentation and give comments during the session. Extra bonus is the breakfast.

We would like to stress that at this point only one space is available, so entering this Ph.D. breakfast session is competitive, and may result in a decline of your proposal for this particular session.


Instructions for submission and presentation

  • Please describe which relevant paper or project of your Ph.D. study you would like to present.
  • State the goal(s) of your study and main research questions.
  • Describe shortly your research design.
  • Summarize your main results or expected results.
  • Describe which questions you would like to address during your discussion, and which type of feedback you would like to receive from the selected experts.
  • Finally also shortly describe why you think this breakfast session would benefit your work.
  • Your submission must not exceed 1 page and be sent to: breakfast@isqols2017.org latest by July 1st, 2017.

The presentation itself should not exceed 10-15 minutes, so there will be 30-35 minutes of time for discussion.