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Sweden poised to lead the way in wellbeing and happiness research

The Nordic countries consistently lead the rankings in both happiness and quality of life. With the launch of its new Center for Wellbeing, Welfare and Happiness, the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) aims to establish Sweden as the foremost knowledge hub for wellness and happiness research in the world. And, as the first business school in the world, SSE is also establishing a new professorship dedicated entirely to the subject of happiness, wellbeing and welfare.

Individuals with high self-reported levels of happiness live longer, get sick less frequently and are more productive. In a world of increasing uncertainty and societal as well as economic turmoil, how do we move towards a world that sees the value in wellbeing? The Center for Wellbeing, Welfare, and Happiness is spearheading the drive for a happier and more prosperous world.

The research at the new Center, on one hand, revolves around a good life: How we can achieve the highest possible quality of life and make the most of our lives both mentally and physically? What contributes to our wellbeing and what are the resulting effects? This includes how we use our time, how we work, what motivates us, or societal changes. On the other hand, the research focuses on what constitutes a healthy economy: How do companies and society contribute to people's welfare? What really constitutes welfare, and what impact do societal efforts, priorities, and methods of organizing companies have on us as individuals?

Happiness as an asset

Researching these important subjects is also an important factor in turning the trend of rising numbers of mental health conditions worldwide. Currently, the global community is losing millions of healthy, happy, and productive years, and, according to the WHO and Harvard researchers, the losses to the global economy are in the trillion-dollar range – every year. Addressing the causes and promoting wellness at the center of our society will mean significant gains for both individuals, organizations and society at large.

"This initiative marks a significant milestone, not just for SSE, but also signifies a powerful commitment to global prosperity. Through our research, we want to contribute to reshaping society. We aspire to empower decision-makers, businesses, and the public alike to foster a more prosperous, resilient, and fulfilling world for all," says Lars Strannegård, President of the Stockholm School of Economics.

First professorship of its kind

In conjunction with the launch of the new center, the Stockholm School of Economics has also established a new professorship dedicated to wellbeing, welfare, and happiness – the first of its kind at a business school. The recipient of the professorship is renowned economist and happiness researcher Micael Dahlen, who will also head the new center. Throughout his career, Micael Dahlen has combined his passion for economics with a deep empathy for the human condition. He is also the author of several books on a science-based approach to happiness and wellness, asking the question: How can we make the most of our human nature, build better organizations and, above all else, live better lives?

“I look forward to playing my part in contributing to our wellbeing, both as individuals and as a society. This is truly the beating heart of economics,” says Micael Dahlen.

The new research center aims to establish a closer connection between research, decision-making, and practice. The goal is for research to contribute to the foundation for future policymaking, guide companies in implementing health-promoting measures that can enhance both productivity and profitability, and, not least, make important research findings accessible to the public.

International expertise

The center will also invite world-leading thought leaders and researchers to Stockholm to jointly develop solutions for the challenges we face. This exchange of international expertise will broaden perspectives and strengthen research collaboration.

The initiative is welcomed by the Swedish government. Jakob Forssmed, Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, says:

"Initiatives like this, researching what produces wellbeing and good mental health, are very welcome. Through cooperation between research, decision-making, and practice, we are improving the conditions for shaping a better future for people and promoting mental health," says Jakob Forssmed.

The establishment of the center and the professorship is made possible through donations and support from Sebastian Knutsson and Malin Ströman, Christian Kinch, select banks within Sparbankerna, The Inner Foundation, the Lars-Olof Mattsson Foundation and Stefan Krook.

For more information, please contact:

Ylva Mossing
Content and Media Relations Manager
Email: ylva.mossing@hhs.se
Phone: +46 730 97 26 16

Micael Dahlen
Professor of Wellbeing, Welfare, and Happiness
Email: micael.dahlen@hhs.se
Phone: +46-70 115 65 02 (text message for media enquiries)

Lars Strannegård
President of the Stockholm School of Economics
Email: lars.strannegard@hhs.se
Phone: +46-8-736 9012

About the Stockholm School of Economics

The Stockholm School of Economics is rated as a top business school in the Nordic and Baltic countries and enjoys a strong international reputation. World-class research forms the foundation of our educational offering, which includes bachelor, master, PhD, MBA, and Executive Education programs. Our programs are developed in close cooperation with the business and research communities, providing graduates substantial potential to attain leading positions in companies and other organizations. 

The School is accredited by EQUIS, certifying that all of its principal activities – teaching as well as research – maintain the highest international standards. The Stockholm School of Economics is also the only Swedish member institution of CEMS and PIM, which are collaborations between top business schools worldwide, contributing to the level of quality for which our school is known. 

For more information about the Stockholm School of Economics, please visit hhs.se.

SSE CWWH Health Economics News Press release