6. July 2023

Dora Gudmundsdottir

Dora Gudmundsdottir

Wellbeing Economy – what is our end goal, Money or Happiness?


In her presentation, Dora explores the complicated relationship between money and happiness, analysing its impact on both individuals and societies. Highlighting alarming statistics, such as eight individuals possessing wealth equivalent to 3.6 billion people, Dora argues that the current economic system falls short in serving the wellbeing of individuals and the planet. She questions the shift where economic growth, initially a means to an end, has become an end goal, emphasizing the detrimental effects on individuals, societies, and the environment.
Referencing Adam Smith's assertion that the value of government lies in promoting the happiness of its constituents, Dora contends that modern societies deviate from this principle. She introduces the wellbeing economy approach, advocating for a paradigm shift where the economy prioritizes the wellbeing of people and the planet. Drawing examples from Iceland and other Wellbeing Economy Governments, Dora illustrates practical implementations on how the wellbeing economy approach can be further developed to enhance wellbeing for people and the planet. The presentation encourages collaborative exploration and reflection on the role of this approach in fostering sustainable wellbeing for people and the planet.

About Dora Gudmundsdottir

Dora Gudmundsdottir is Director of Determinants of Health and Wellbeing at the Directorate of Health in Iceland. She is a governmental expert on mental health and National Focal point for Iceland in the EU Health Programme. Dora is trained clinical and organisational psychologist and holds a PhD in epidemiology of wellbeing.