On needs

Nice post here from my friend Sophia about new approaches to the question ‘what constitutes a good life today?’

I’m linking to it here partly because I want to add support to Richard Layard‘s comment that how we relate to each other is important to our individual wellbeing. It’s what I was writing about on The New Sociablism a couple of years ago (before I got distracted by doing this), and the importance of building good relationships – and therefore of policy which emphasises relationships as a tool to support wellbeing – is reflected in the Mindapples survey results by the frequency that talking to people and ‘friends and family’ comes up in people’s responses.

But I also wanted to respond to the Young Foundation’s approach to mapping needs. I agree with their attempts to map needs in a more complex way, focussing on what we actually need rather than on abstracts like ‘poverty’ and ‘inequality’. But I wish policymakers and think tanks would spend more time mapping what’s working for people and telling stories about that. It feels like what works about Mindapples is that we’re interested in celebrating and sharing what works for people and spreading more of it. There’s a lot more that we can do for ourselves, and telling stories about how powerful we are surely deserves its place in the conversation about how we create a better, happier, healthier future?

Anyone seen any good examples of this kind of positive ‘asset-mapping’ that we could link to here?