Measuring national well-being

29 September 2011



On 25 November 2010, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced plans to lead a national debate on measuring the nation’s well-being. Since then, the ONS has been developing a set of measures of national well-being to complement economic measures – such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – that have underpinned assessments of 'how the UK is doing'. The aim is that these new measures will cover the quality of life of people in the UK, environmental and sustainability issues, as well as the economic performance of the country. In July 2011 ONS published a report with the key findings from the debate and an outline of next steps.

On 23 March, the University of Cambridge hosted a National Well-Being Debate, one of many community events organised by the ONS to allow people to have their say about what matters most in their lives and what is important for measuring the nation's well-being.

Following this successful 'Question Time' event, organised by the Well-being Institute, the Centre for Science and Policy is working with Professor Felicia Huppert, Director of the Well-being Institute at the University of Cambridge, to bring together a range of stakeholders to discuss this important topic. Chaired by Sir Robin Young, the seminar will take place on 29 September at the Church House Conference Centre.


  • 14:30 Registration
  • 14:50 Welcome and Introduction (Dr Chris Tyler, Executive Director, CSaP)
  • 15:00 Panel Presentations chaired by Sir Robin Young (former Permanent Secretary for BIS)
  • 16:00 Questions & Discussion
  • 16:45 Closing remarks
  • 17:00 Drinks & informal discussions
  • 18:00 Close

Invited panellists include:

  • Paul Allin, Office of National Statistics
  • Professor Felicia Huppert, Well Being Institute
  • Trevor Huddleston, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Dr David Halpern, Cabinet Office
  • Dr Charles Seaford, the New Economics Foundation

How to register
If you would like to receive an invitation, please send an email to jackie.ouchikh@csap.cam.ac.uk. Please note that places are limited, so early registration is advised.


Church House Conference Centre
Dean's Yard
London SW1P 3NZ

Mr Paul Allin

Imperial College London

Dr David Halpern

The Behavioural Insights Team

Trevor Huddleston

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Professor Felicia Huppert

The Well-being Institute, University of Cambridge

Charles Seaford

New Economics Foundation (NEF)

Sir Robin Young

Cambridge Cleantech

Jackie Ouchikh

Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge

  • In news articles

    Measuring national well-being

    This CSaP workshop considered whether there were suitable methods for recording national well-being and how such data would become incorporated into policy decisions.